26 user 85 critic

Air Doll (2009)

Kûki ningyô (original title)
2:08 | Trailer
A life-size blow-up doll develops a soul and falls in love with a video store clerk.



(manga), (screenplay)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

I Wish (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Twelve-year-old Koichi, who has been separated from his brother Ryunosuke due to his parents' divorce, hears a rumor that the new bullet trains will precipitate a wish-granting miracle when they pass each other at top speed.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Stars: Kôki Maeda, Ohshirô Maeda, Masami Nagasawa
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A troubled young samurai seeks revenge for the death of his father.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Stars: Jun'ichi Okada, Rie Miyazawa, Arata Furuta
Nobody Knows (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In a small Tokyo apartment, twelve-year-old Akira must care for his younger siblings after their mother leaves them and shows no sign of returning.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Stars: Yûya Yagira, Ayu Kitaura, Hiei Kimura
Distance (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Members of a cult, modeled on Aum Shinrikyo, sabotage a city's water supply, then commit mass suicide near the shores of a lake. Family members of those affected by it meet at the lake to observe the anniversary of their loved ones' deaths.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Stars: Arata Iura, Yûsuke Iseya, Susumu Terajima
After Life (1998)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After death, people have just one week to choose only a memory to keep for eternity.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Stars: Arata Iura, Erika Oda, Susumu Terajima
Still Walking (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A family gathers together for a commemorative ritual whose nature only gradually becomes clear.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Stars: Hiroshi Abe, Yui Natsukawa, You
Maborosi (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young woman's husband apparently commits suicide without warning or reason, leaving behind his wife and infant.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Stars: Makiko Esumi, Takashi Naitô, Tadanobu Asano
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A story that revolves around three sisters who live in their grandmother's home and the arrival of their thirteen-year-old half sister.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Stars: Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Kaho
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Ryota is a successful workaholic businessman. When he learns that his biological son was switched with another boy after birth, he faces the difficult decision to choose his true son or the boy he and his wife have raised as their own.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Stars: Masaharu Fukuyama, Machiko Ono, Yôko Maki
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After the death of his father, a private detective struggles to find child support money and reconnect with his son and ex-wife.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Stars: Hiroshi Abe, Yôko Maki, Satomi Kobayashi
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A courtroom drama centered around the murder of a factory president.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Stars: Masaharu Fukuyama, Kôji Yakusho, Shinnosuke Mitsushima
Shoplifters (2018)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A family of small-time crooks take in a child they find on the street.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Stars: Lily Franky, Kirin Kiki, Sôsuke Ikematsu


Credited cast:
... Nozomi
Arata Iura ... Junichi (as Arata)
Itsuji Itao ... Hideo
... Air Doll Maker
Junko Fuji ... Widow (as Sumiko Fuji)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sei Andô
Tasuku Emoto ... Peep-tom Student
Mari Hoshino ... Apple Woman
Ryô Iwamatsu ... Owner of Video Rental Shop
Tomomi Maruyama ... Moe's father
Miu Naraki ... Moe
Masaya Takahashi ... Ex-substitute Teacher
Susumu Terajima ... Policeman
... Receptionist


A life-size blow-up doll develops a soul and falls in love with a video store clerk.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Fantasy | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 September 2009 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Air Doll  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the movie store where Nozomi (Doona Bae) works, The Matrix (1999) directed by The Wachowskis can be seen among other DVDs. Doona Bae has worked with The Wachowskis three times since: Cloud Atlas (2012), Sense8 (2015 - ?), and Jupiter Ascending (2015). See more »


Nozomi: Having a heart was heartbreaking.
See more »


References Jumper (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Hauntingly beautiful film
30 March 2010 | by See all my reviews

In short: A deep, thought-provoking, beautifully filmed, and well acted piece of Japanese cinema. Bae Doona is magnificent as an inflatable doll that develops a soul and falls in love. Hirokazu Koreeda wows once again with his deliberate film making, effectively commenting on social problems dealing with urban life. Despite the fact that it is a bit slow and a bit long, Air Doll is definitely one of the better films that I've seen recently.

I was finally able to watch this film (on DVD) and was impressed, more so than I thought I would be. To me, Air Doll includes aspects that make it attractive to both film festivals and commercial audiences. With the quirky and interesting premise of a sex doll that comes to life, Air Doll (which is lightly based on a manga) establishes itself as a film which seeks to appeal to modern audiences, specifically Japanese. This doll, "named" Nozomi (played by Korean actress Bae Doona), sneaks out of her owners house every day to go to work at a local video store. There, she falls in love with her coworker, Junichi (played by Arata), and learns about life--both the good and the bad.

What separates Air Doll from some of Koreeda's previous work is his choice of Mark Lee as cinematographer. He films the city of Tokyo beautifully, with long, gorgeous tracking shots. This is a departure from Koreeda's usual style, of which films like Nobody Knows and Still Walking are good examples (both being pretty un-commercial). I enjoyed the cameo's by some well-established actors, including Odagiri Joe as the doll maker, Susumu Terajima as a police officer, and Kimiko Yo as an aging woman obsessed with looking young, although they were definitely not noteworthy performances. I also enjoyed the music, which moved along with the pace of the film and effectively added emotional weight to select scenes.

Where I thought the film faltered was in length. It was too long, which is not a completely horrible fault in many cases, but towards the end I felt as if Koreeda had already established his point and needed to wrap it up. Length is a characteristic problem in many contemporary Japanese films. I feel as if this works for some (Love Exposure !?), but not for most. Another fault that I'd like to mention was the odd, Jdrama-like breaks in the scene where Nozomi is being repeatedly drained of air, then blown back up by Junichi in bed. The same shot was shown three times from different angles, which I found unnecessary and out of place. But that's just me being picky.

Air Doll attempts to illustrate to the viewer the loneliness that exists in an urban environment such as Tokyo. He does this perfectly with the inclusion of small side stories; a nerdy otaku, a lonely old man, an aging woman obsessed with beauty, a bulimic woman suffering from depression, and other lonely people. These characters only briefly appear on the screen, giving the impression of the fleeting encounters with strangers in a big city urban environment. Bae Doona's character of the doll, Nozomi, is the highlight of the movie. She plays the character perfectly, often condensing many emotions into one and displaying all of the quirkiness of a doll that has recently discovered life. It is interesting and perfect that Koreeda cast a Korean in the roll of the doll, as it further alienates the character from the rest of the cast as well as the audience. It is also interesting to note the fact that Bae Doona was very naked during the film (being a sex doll and all), a feat that not many Japanese actresses would even dare to do. She has been nominated for--and won many--awards for best actress.

--John Kincaid @ jkfilmjapan.wordpress.com/

12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 26 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Horror and Thriller Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular horror and thriller movies available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed