7.0/10
2,537
27 user 59 critic

Café Lumière (2003)

Kôhî jikô (original title)
The story revolves around Yoko Inoue, a pregnant woman in search for a cafe that's frequented by a Taiwanese composer whose life she is researching.

Director:

Hsiao-Hsien Hou

Writers:

Hsiao-Hsien Hou (screenplay), T'ien-wen Chu (screenplay)

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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yo Hitoto Yo Hitoto ... Yôko
Tadanobu Asano ... Hajime Takeuchi
Masato Hagiwara Masato Hagiwara ... Seiji
Kimiko Yo ... Yôko no keiba
Nenji Kobayashi Nenji Kobayashi ... Yôko no otôsan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Keiichi Asada Keiichi Asada
Yukio Endô Yukio Endô
Yôko Hoshi Yôko Hoshi
Mikiko Kakizawa Mikiko Kakizawa
Hiroko Kumada Hiroko Kumada
Kikutarô Mitobe Kikutarô Mitobe
Sumiko Mitobe Sumiko Mitobe
Masaru Motegi Masaru Motegi
Hiroko Ninomiya Hiroko Ninomiya
Yasuko Ogata Yasuko Ogata
Edit

Storyline

The story revolves around Yoko Inoue, a pregnant woman in search for a cafe that's frequented by a Taiwanese composer whose life she is researching.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Japan | Taiwan

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

11 September 2004 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Café Lumière See more »

Filming Locations:

Tokyo, Japan

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The book that is featured in the film is Outside Over There by Maurice Sedak. See more »

Soundtracks

Formosan Dance, Op.1
Composed by Wen Ye Jiang
Performed by J. Y. Song
See more »

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User Reviews

 
art film devoid of life
12 October 2006 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

A Japanese movie with a French title, "Café Lumiere" is a desultory tale of a young pregnant woman and her friendship with a local bookstore proprietor. As the movie is almost militantly anti-narrative in its stance, there really isn't much more one can provide in the way of helpful plot summary than that.

Director Hsiao-hsien Hou has opted for a Spartan style of film-making that hearkens back to such early Japanese masters as Yasujiro Ozu and Kenji Mizoguchi. Each scene consists of a single medium or long shot with no close-ups or edits whatsoever. The result is that we become so detached from the characters on screen that we find ourselves unengaged in their problems and their fates. And this turns out to be a particularly serious problem in this case because the spare screenplay offers us so little of interest to start with. The story consists mainly of Yoko wandering around the city or moping in her apartment as she goes about the tasks of her daily life. She rides on trains, entertains her visiting parents, spends infrequent moments with her storeowner friend - and that's about it: no revelatory conversations, no insights into character, no point or purpose beyond the prosaic surface. Admittedly, some of the compositions are stunning and the style is intriguing and hypnotic at first, but it soon loses its charm as the tedium of the narrative (or non-narrative) takes over.

The acting is consistently understated and naturalistic, but in a movie in which everybody just looks preoccupied and pensive, there really isn't much call for anything else.


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