Liza the Fox-Fairy (2015) Poster

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Witches' brew
Karl Self4 April 2015
This movie starts like a fairy-tale, and retains this style throughout: Liza is a simple young (well, she's hitting 30) girl who hasn't found her dream prince yet. She's working in a fictional Budapest as a live-in nurse for an elderly lady, who teaches her Japanese because she used to be the wife of the Japanese ambassador. Did I mention that it's a very complex fairy tale? Simple Liza reads her favourite Japanese novel over and over, listens to J-Pop and dreams about meeting her prince over a crab burger, just like in the novel. One day, a Japanese pop star from the Sixties appears to her, and they both shake it out. Liza manages to get two hours off to go to a burger joint, which is the closest thing to the crab burger joint of her dreams. While she's gone, her ward dies, killed by the only seemingly innocuous spirit of a Japanese pop singer, Tomy Tano. Liza inherits the flat, but the evil spirit is now jealous of her quest for a dream lover. Many good men, and some mediocre ones, die, and Liza's only explanation for this is that she is a fox-fairy, a Japanese mythological figure of a young, attractive woman who is inevitably killing off all of her suitors ...

This is a very odd, very complex and very well made movie in the style of Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain about a young woman finding happiness. I especially enjoyed the subcosmos of equally erstwhile as well as fictional J-pop star Tomy Tano, he seemed to be living in an eternally hip and fun world of great tunes and swinging moves.
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Original witty, silly and fun
bogus-bogus-one2 January 2016
I originally had no idea what to expect. I just wanted to watch a movie & saw this had a rating over 7. So it couldn't be too bad could it? WOW! What a pleasant surprise!

Don't be scared off, even if you need subtitles. This was still some of the most fun I've had watching a film in a long time. That's saying a lot for something that is basically just a love story.

As the film's titles drop onto the screen, they are suspended by imaginary ropes and dangling to and fro. It lets me know right off the bat that this is a comedy even though the text is in a language I can't read.

It starts off with a fairly tale feel right away too but... we are soon introduced to a sequence with Japanese pop music. I found this and all the song and dance segments to be hypnotic. The music sounded great but what I really couldn't get enough of were the visuals. These were really beautiful for me to look at. (and I'm not normally a big fan of musical numbers in film).

As the story unfolded, we come to understand the legend of the Fox-Fairy. As an Anime fan I was hooked from that point on. There are some great sight gags all along the way. Some fun with the local Mekk Burger and even a little social commentary on the merits fast food.

They live happily ever after... those who manage to survive that is.
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Hopstimop12 July 2015
Finally a Hungarian movie on an international level.

If you like movies made by Wes Anderson, you will like this too.

A very strange story about a naive girl, who is looking for the love of her life, put in scene beautifully.

Normally I don't like Hungarian movies, because all of them still try to solve the trauma caused by the communists, but Liza is different.

Although the set design reminds me to the communistic design of the 70's, it fits the story completely and doesn't lessen the experience. Rather the opposite.

If you have the chance to watch it, you have to!
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FryHigh3 December 2015
Apparently. Unbeknownst to me. Director Károly Ujj Mészáros, is some kind of love child of Guy Ritchie and Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

If you get what I'm putting out there. You're going to love this movie. Some dark comedy and humor; good story telling, and fantastic characters; interwoven with Japanese Kitsune lore, and lots and lots of murder. All set in 1970's Hungary. Did I mention a curse, and Japanese fast food? In there too. Plenty of it... with murder.

It's a shame this kind of movie is a rarity these days. Just goes to show, good writing and storytelling beat out the CG filled crap we're fed these days.

Don't miss it. Really. Did I mention all the murder? :)
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Fictional 70s Hungary meets Japanese culture
maedhros-147-6089132 August 2015
Liza, the Fox-fairy is one of the most pleasant surprises I ever had watching a Hungarian movie. The cinematography and scenery were beautiful, the actors did an excellent job. The idea of adding Japanese pop culture and mythology to a fictional capitalistic 70's Hungarian scenery might seem a little far fetched at first, but it really works well. The story was captivating.

Most reviewers mention Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 'Amélie' and Wes Anderson's movies as probable inspirations. I have to agree, but these influences are not explicit at all, they stay on a vibe level. Also I have to add, it's way darker than those movies and that it has more of a 'Delicatessen' mood, (also) a Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro movie.

Anyway, if you like weird love stories with dark twists and dark humor you should definitely give this movie a chance.
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What the Heck.
SquigglyCrunch13 October 2016
Liza the Fox Fairy follows a woman named Liza who is best friends with the ghost of a Japanese popstar. One day she gets cursed becomes a fox fairy, which means that anyone who falls in love with her will die.

I'm just going to get this out of the way, this movie is very unique. The concept alone should be enough to pique your interest. If it somehow doesn't, well, it makes me wonder who hurt you.

Putting the concept aside, how well is it presented? If you ask me, it's very well presented. For starters, the comedy is great. It's full of often dark, often goofy, often overly-anime-Japanese-ish comedy and everything still feels like it's in the right place. Yeah, I don't get it either. But trust me, the humor is pretty great.

The soundtrack is actually pretty good, and it adds yet another surreal-weird layer to the film.

The characters are weird and interesting, and fit the movie perfectly.

The whole movie is pretty unpredictable too, as it is a very unconventional movie so you as the audience really has no idea where it's going. Unless you've already seen it, of course.

Overall Liza the Fox Fairy is weird, but it's hilarious and unique and yet nothing about it is out of place. It's a movie you have to see to believe. In the end I would definitely recommend this movie.
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If you liked Amélie (The Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Poulain) you gonna enjoy this one
wekkab3 April 2015
This movie has a touch of the trend setter "The Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Poulain" in regards to the heroine who is a very naive and bit weird girl living in the big city in her own special world -this time in Budapest not Paris- without really knowing how the things are working in the "grownups" jungle gym. She barely gets out of the apartment where she lives till the day comes.... But it is definitely not a remake and has its own unique easily lovable atmosphere.

In general it is a really nice romantic movie with loads of special design elements /mimicking/ the 60s, sarcastic humor and twists in the story to make it absolutely enjoyable for both parties of the randevu not only for the ladies.

For me that's the kind of movie I can recommend for those friends of mine to see a different kind of movie who would never go for an "art film".
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The hungarian unordinary fairy tale
pribek-andor6 November 2015
This movie is absolutely stunning. Finally the Hungarians made their own "Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain" mixed with the "L'écume des jours". Very good sense of (grotesque)humour, drama, love story and music. The main character and all the supporting actors are well casted.

And the soundtrack is worth to mention also, from the Japanese pop- track to the melancholic background music or the closing Finnish song (Loituma polka) fits perfectly.

The only con is that the English translation cannot bring back the literary usage of the hungarian language. They tried the best, but sometimes the English language isn't "enough".

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1960's Capitalist Hungary? A delight from start to finish
pottypat3 May 2016
Had to write this after seeing a cruddy review from some local misery guts who waffled on forever and ever about how bad it was. Long reviews are generally an indicator of little to say along with a sense of self importance. Well Liza was a great film in my opinion. The movie, if fantasy fairy tales are your thing, is a well written, beautifully visualised and made European film. There aren't reams of dialogue to put off those who don't like subs, just enough to move the plot and produce gags. The casting is faultless. God bless the Hungarians for financing it's production. To invoke the awful Hollywood cliché that invariably stops me from seeing movies, it is a 'Timeless Classic', Much like 7 Faces of Dr. Lao. I recommenced it, it's funny and entranced me and will do many others for decades.
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Something new I never expected from the Hungarian film.
Reno-Rangan24 January 2016
I loved 'Citizen Dog' and this movie falls under the same category. I haven't seen many Hungarian films, but recently I saw and liked 'White God'. After seeing the overwhelmed responses to this, I think I anticipated a lot only to get disappointed. I'm not completely upset with it, I liked the story, maybe I expected more cute and innocence like an Audrey Tautou character from 'Amélie'.

There are lots of fun that you could feel the movie is not simply trying to impress you, but begin to evolve to build a fine storyline and a better conclusion. The deaths, inclusion of a Japanese character, songs and a fairytale is how the concept was developed that became the centre of the narration.

At a time I felt a little too much use of them is why my interest on this slightly declined during the watch. I definitely won't consider it a bad movie, but only felt it should have been a little better in the storytelling. I might have not liked it as much as other similar films, but it's a superior quality, with the good performances. I think anyone who enjoyed 'Citizen Dog' and 'Amelie' should try it with the low expectation.

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Funny and interesting romantic movie
allan-149312 November 2016
This movie best compares to the French movie Amelié, though it isn't quite as good, it is still unusual and interesting enough to be worth a watch and a warm recommendation to lovers of Amelié. Where Amelié was very French, this is a Hungaries film though it at least on the surface draws a lot more from Japanese culture than Hungarian. It gives it a nice charm of mixed cultures.

The humor is mixed, some good some that misses the target, but it does the job overall and can put a smile on your face unless you are too cynical. The main character is perhaps a little to clichéd naive, but that is also what drives the plot, so I will excuse it.
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More style than laughs
scandinavianmail11 August 2017
While not an entirely wasted opportunity, Liza the Fox-Fairy doesn't generate much laughs, and its half-witted premise is thrown at the audience so carelessly that title character's hardships at the hands of a vengeful Japanese pop star ghost fail to make anyone care too much what happens next.

Most of the runtime is spent on going through all the people that need to die to push Liza over the edge, which understandably gets quite repetitive. Neither the deaths or the characters show any screen writing genius.

The execution itself is well-thought and careful, and the team behind the production seems to have felt all the way they are making a wonderful movie. It always lifts a bad movie when one sees people trying hard, even if they don't really succeed.
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Boring, dull and overrated
tomcat-350-2752112 November 2015
All in all, a movie can be enjoyed or not. There are definitely good ones, definitely bad ones, and there's middle ground. Liza the Fox-Fairy is middle ground. I'd say it's exactly on the boundary, but it's a little bit on the bad side. I found it very boring and dull, despite its technical perks.

The idea of an alternative Hungary in the 1970s presents an interesting idea itself, but it's not taking the movie all the way. The characters are decent, and so are the artists portraying them. Gábor Reviczky as the police chief is however just as dull as the movie itself. The plot has a lot to offer, but fails to deliver. There are very good elements and moments in this movie, but it never becomes a whole. It also fails to deliver the usual playfulness of Hungarian movies, the feeling of "a little bit yellow, a little bit sour, but still ours". It's a movie from East Europe not for East Europeans, but too East European for the rest of the word.

I seriously don't understand the hype about this one. I could not enjoy it. There is no deeper meaning, nothing under a thin (or not so thin) layer of cultural snobbism. Tension is nonexistent, there is no reason to wait for the next scene. It all goes nowhere.

At the end of the day, I am sorry for every minute I spent with this movie. It is exactly like a Mekk Burger with a plastic clown. Also, the outcome is very obvious when the Sergeant enters the plot. (Who is actually an Ensign in the Hungarian original - the English subtitle is very poor.)
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Funny but not much else
pethog-2767314 October 2020
When this movie was released 5 years ago, it was celebrated in Hungarian media as a world-class movie that revolutionised Hungarian cinema, or something like that. So there was definitely a huge hype around it, but I didn't see it back then, only now, after it appeared on Netflix. I was expecting a movie with an original, maybe even deep story that is loosely connected to Japanese myhology. What I got instead was a plain, although admittedly stylish and funny comedy. It was very much riding the retro wave, as the setting is a version of 1970s Budapest, although in an alternate reality where it is a city in a capitalist country, a colorful place with Porsches, teleshops, Cosmopolitan magazine (a rather blunt product placement that's made part of the comedy, like the Tupperware coffin in the German 7 Dwarfs movie), an invented fast food chain, and silly clothes and hairstyles. Another part of the stylishness of the movie was the crazy music: one of the main characters of the movie is the ghost of an invented Japanese pop star who sings a typical Japanese-English language mix with a pretty authentic-sounding odd J-pop style music, although actually composed and sung by a Hungarian musician; and there's also some real Finnish western music by Marko Haavisto, who is strangely not credited; and Ievan polkka, which I haven't heard for like ten years. This being a comedy, the essence of the movie are the gags. While there are all sorts of silly jokes (e.g. Liza prepares some idiotically disgusting dishes, like melon soup sprinkled with onions, for one of his "suitors" from a cookbook, wrapped in pink fur, which belonged to the deceased wife of the guy, and the guy calls Liza if he can call her by the name of the former wife), and in this respect this movie is in fact kind of similar to Jeunet's films, most of the jokes are the accidents themselves (not murders, like one of the reviewers claims) which afflict the men who desire Liza. This is a bit like the Final Destination movies, with the huge difference that the accidents there are really cleverly constructed and surprising, while those in this movie are very simple. Overall I'd say that the comedy is effective, I laughed out loud many times while watching the movie. So having said all of these basically positive things, why am I giving Liza just 6 stars? Well, okay, it's funny and stylish, the acting is generally good enough, the story isn't too bad, but none of this is really astonishingly good either. All of it is just slightly better than average, which is by definition exactly a 6. It's a lame comedy like basically all the other successful Hungarian films of the past 30 years (the Koltai and the Üvegtigris movies, etc.). Watchable, but entirely unremarkable. Sorry about that.
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So Quirky!
foxygoalie27 July 2018
I love this movie. It's in the same vein as Amelie, or Ghost World. The acting is great. The music is on point.
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Not as good as you would expect
danrxg21 May 2016
I know, the plot sounds really good. A 30 years-old woman searching for her true love is cursed, so that all of her pretenders die unexpectedly. It's gotta be a mystery, a thriller, what can go wrong? Well, if you are used to what Hollywood calls a Sci-fi, this is probably not for you. First of all, for some reason, this movie makes too many characters look like they are socially dumb. It's got too much silence in a bad way, I mean not that type of silence you would enjoy, the boring one. Secondly, it's not realistic. I know, it's supposed to be a fiction, but the viewers should still find a convincing plot. You might think it's a fairy-tale, but again, it's not quite there. It feels like this movie can not define itself. I'm not going to say more, don't want to spoil it. Lastly, the curse- breaking is not sensational. It feels like the writers had no good idea about how the story should end so they threw in some nice effects and everybody is happy. Nope, not really. The only funny thing about it were the older cops (again, not telling you more so it won't become a spoiler), but again, you were not supposed to have a funny moment as a highlight for this movie. Trying too much, not getting anywhere. But don't simply believe me, go check it out.
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A Hungarian Amelie
worldanny30 March 2020
A Hungarian Amelie

Playful with adult themes.

Genuinely cared for the main character.

Setting and film's photography perspective add texture to the film
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Fun, quirky dark comedy
rubyknits6 August 2018
Sometimes it's better not to know anything about a film in advance; this was the case for me, for had I read a synopsis of the film I wouldn't have bothered with it.

Liza is a nurse to the widow of a former Japanese ambassador to Hungary. The widow gets her interested in Japanese popular culture. She longs for love but her only companions are the widow and the ghost of a long dead Japanese pop singer. When she begins to seek out love, the jealous ghost turns her into a fox fairy who is cursed in love. Anyone who begins to love her dies. Now she must figure out how to break the curse and find true love.

The style is right light considering all the deaths that take place around her. It's like a dreamy fairy tale. I loved the music and the scenes of Liza dancing with her beloved ghost.
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eceustun_18 October 2020
This is one of the most amusing film I've ever seen. Please watch it.
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Tomy Tani Dancing Scenes Cured My Depresion
motyl_emanuel4 October 2020
Wannabe Wes Anderson movie in the good way, it is wierd and lots of fun. Setting of the movie in combination with Japanese aesthetic is match made in heavens. Music was the best part of the whole experience for me. 7,5/10
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