5.9/10
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The story of a married silkworm merchant-turned-smuggler in 19th century France traveling to Japan for his town's supply of silkworms after a disease wipes out their African supply. During his stay in Japan, he becomes obsessed with the concubine of a local baron.

Director:

François Girard

Writers:

Alessandro Baricco (novel), François Girard (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sei Ashina ... The Girl
Michael Pitt ... Hervé Joncour
Tony Vogel ... Café Verdun Man #1
Toni Bertorelli Toni Bertorelli ... Verdun
Keira Knightley ... Hélène Joncour
Kenneth Welsh ... Mayor Joncour
Martha Burns ... Mme. Joncour
Alfred Molina ... Baldabiou
Michael Golding Michael Golding ... Clerk
Carlo Cecchi Carlo Cecchi ... Priest
Chiara Stampone Chiara Stampone ... Béatrice Berbek
Marc Fiorini ... M. Chabert
Alexander Brooks ... M. Loiseau (as Leslie Csuth)
Tôru Tezuka Tôru Tezuka ... Japanese Guide
Hiroya Morita Hiroya Morita ... Japanese Elder #1
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Storyline

A married silkworm smuggler, Herve Joncour, in 19th Century France who travels to Japan to collect his clandestine cargo. While there he spots a beautiful Japanese woman, the concubine of a local baron, with whom he becomes obsessed. Without speaking the same language, they communicate through letters until war intervenes. Their unrequited love persists however, and Herve's wife Helene begins to suspect. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Come back, or I shall die. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | France | Italy | UK | Japan

Language:

English | Japanese | Latin

Release Date:

21 September 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Retrato de amor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$126,537, 16 September 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,103,075, 15 November 2007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,551,009, 8 June 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Quotes

[first lines]
Hervé Joncour: Steaming water. Strange trees. Laughing children. Her skin... those eyes. But why should I tell you about it? Why now? Maybe I just need to tell someone about it. And that someone is you.
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User Reviews

 
Slow but worth the wait.
24 March 2008 | by vagabondjonsonSee all my reviews

This movie was very good. I know a lot of reviewers were bored and didn't like that there wasn't subtitles for the Japanese. Admittedly the issue with the subtitles would have made the movie easier to understand. In the middle of the movie there is some confusion about what exactly has transpired between Pitt and his Japanese contact and why the initial interlude between Pitt and the Japanese concubine occurs in the first place but these don't seem to be so dear to the plot that you can't remain in the dark and still get the point of the movie.

The landscape is breathtaking, the acting was great by every member of the supporting cast. I like Michael Pitt, but it seems like he can only play one character and it's the throaty sensitive guy. I was surprised that Keira Knightley took such a minor role but the punch at the end gives her character quite a bit of intrigue. As always she is wonderful and I liked Alfred Molina as well.

The cinematography was good and understated. The script was simple and it didn't seem like they wasted any words. Quite the opposite in fact.

I understand why others didn't like it but I get the impression that this is due to a lack of patience on their part.

Good movie. Try it out.


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