6.7/10
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127 user 66 critic

Japanese Story (2003)

Against the background of an Australian desert, Sandy, a geologist, and Hiromitsu, a Japanese businessman, play out a story of human inconsequence in the face of the blistering universe. ... See full summary »

Director:

Sue Brooks

Writer:

Alison Tilson
20 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Toni Collette ... Sandy Edwards
Gotaro Tsunashima Gotaro Tsunashima ... Hiromitsu Tachibana
Matthew Dyktynski Matthew Dyktynski ... Bill Baird
Lynette Curran ... Mum
Yumiko Tanaka Yumiko Tanaka ... Yukiko Tachibana
Kate Atkinson ... Jackie
Bill Young ... Jimmy Smithers
Reg Evans ... Bloke in Row Boat
George Shevtsov George Shevtsov ... James
Justine Clarke ... Jane
Igor Sas Igor Sas ... Fraser
Mike Frencham Mike Frencham ... Blake
John Howard ... Richards
Phil Bennett Phil Bennett ... Barman
Heath Bergersen Heath Bergersen ... Petrol Bloke
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Storyline

Against the background of an Australian desert, Sandy, a geologist, and Hiromitsu, a Japanese businessman, play out a story of human inconsequence in the face of the blistering universe. The end of the journey leaves no one capable of going back to where they started from. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some stories can change your life.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

25 September 2003 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Japanese Story See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,740,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,962, 4 January 2004

Gross USA:

$647,054

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,098,613
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Our thanks to the people of Nyamal, Ngarluma, Yinjibarndi, Bunjima and Nyiparli Nations. See more »

Soundtracks

Asadoya Bushi
Traditional song
See more »

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User Reviews

unexpected plot twists make movie work
5 July 2004 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

The best thing about `Japanese Story,' an Australian film directed by Sue Brooks and set almost entirely in the Outback, is its unpredictability. Just as you begin to think that the story, written by Alison Tilson, is headed in one particular direction, it does an amazing about-face and leads us down an entirely different, utterly unexpected narrative path.

The movie starts off as a fairly standard romantic comedy, involving two strangers who don't like each other very much yet who are forced to spend an inordinate amount of time together. Sandy is a geologist whose company, against her will and better judgment, has asked her to escort an important Japanese businessman through the wilds of the Australian desert on a sightseeing tour. The film even begins to seem a bit like a landlocked `Swept Away' for awhile, as these two headstrong people – he a Japanese traditionalist with male chauvinistic tendencies and she a no-nonsense, freethinking, independent woman (but both filled with doubts and insecurities beneath the surface) – find themselves stranded in a hostile and remote environment, fighting for survival. But then the first of the film's numerous plot reversals kicks in and we find ourselves in an entirely different situation altogether.

I certainly don't want to spoil anyone's experience of this film by revealing just what those plot twists are, so I will merely state that the film, in the second half, becomes a fairly profound meditation on the precarious nature of life and the almost lightning-paced speed with which tragedy can intervene to bring our worlds crashing down around us. Toni Collette is heartbreaking as the feisty yet warmhearted Sandy and Gotaro Tsunashima is both tender and stoic as the man from an exotic culture with whom she eventually falls in love.

That, of course, is the predictable part. But if you think you know where this story is going, you will be pleasantly surprised at how wrong you will be.


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