In Tokyo, a young sex worker develops an unexpected connection with a widower over a period of two days.


Abbas Kiarostami, Shay Modaressi (as Banafsheh Violet Modaressi)


Abbas Kiarostami (screenplay), Mohammad Rahmani (screenplay collaborator: Grandmother's messages)
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview:
Tadashi Okuno ... Takashi Watanabe
Rin Takanashi ... Akiko
Ryô Kase ... Noriaki
Denden ... Hiroshi
Mihoko Suzuki ... The neighbor
Kaneko Kubota Kaneko Kubota ... Akiko's grandmother
Hiroyuki Kishi ... The former student
Reiko Mori ... Nagisa
Kôichi Ohori ... Taxi Driver (as Kouichi Ohori)
Tomoaki Tatsumi Tomoaki Tatsumi ... The mechanic
Seina Kasugai Seina Kasugai ... Nagisa's friend


Like Someone in Love I is a Japanese-language film directed by Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. It has been selected to be screened in the main competition section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Written by Abbas Kiarostami. Written by Ugetsu

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


The film had the production title The End which was also the initial name of the movie. See more »


Noriaki: [subtitled version] If we're married, she has to answer me.
Takashi: Ideally, yes. That's why I'm saying you lack experience.
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Featured in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2012 (2012) See more »


Like Someone In Love
Music byJimmy Van Heusen
Lyrics byJohnny Burke
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User Reviews

Circling twice without stopping
5 January 2014 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

Kiarostami in Japan, what bliss and promise! I'm always interested when foreign filmmakers film in Japan, how that worldview illuminates them. Chris Marker captured the most evocative coming and going of things in Sans Soleil, on the flipside for me is Wenders who completely misses Zen in his film about Ozu, mistaking emptiness for modern lack. Coppola's is merely passable for my taste.

But Kiarostami is not merely drawn to images, his whole world conveys a Persian Zen of sorts—his Wind was the most clear, all about finding meaning in things and their cyclical drift being what they are. Certified Copy added more story, but the fact remained of his being the most essentially Buddhist filmmaker in the West since Antonioni, drawing up the same realizations about self and time.

So what does he find here, what illumination?

There are three main implications woven together, all derived from a Buddhist view; the transience of things, with people coming and going at the bar before the girl, the taxi drive with Tokyo nightlife fleeing past, circling around the grandmother but driving on without stopping; illusory self, we are not sure at first who the girl or the old man are, no fixed roles but two people in each other's company, the resemblance to the girls in the painting and photograph, the old man posing as the grandfather later in the car and her flyer that comes up, all pointing to the fluidity of self; ignorance born from desire in the fiancé with his phonecalls and later showing up on the door.

Kiarostami captures the essence of Buddhism, not interpreting themes but unearthing the visual flow from ordinary life. He films the air of anticipation, the cautious exchange. True to Japan, he films the drama with no needless suffering, as awareness, with that faint melancholy they know over there as mono no aware, which comes from a notion of time where things are not inevitable as we understand in the West when we talk about fate, nor could they be anything else than what's before the eyes.

What will be will be, says the old man who poses as the grandfather to both protect the girl and conceal his misdeed. We have this wonderful ambiguity all through the thing. There is no problem of evil see in Buddhism and Kiarostami's cinema alike. No moral blame in that the girl does what she does to go through college and ignores her grandma, or that the old man desired the company of someone like her that night or even that he lies about being the grandfather.

But when what will be is finally at hand and the old man looks confused and foolish as he faces a beating, what's the good of all the philosophizing then? But that's when Kiarostami abandons the story, probably thinking he has evoked enough and we should mull over the rest.

I consider this a real miss, a poor ending. We don't need any concrete answer of course. It's just that ending it at that point in the story, with the karmic noise but not the echo back into life, we forget all about the girl, the sweet fragile self who is not the dolled-up face in the flyer, we forget about the waiting grandmother, it's all cleaved away from the film.

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Japan | France



Release Date:

15 September 2012 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Like Someone in Love See more »

Filming Locations:

Shizuoka, Japan See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,813, 17 February 2013

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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