Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda • 2009 • Japan
Starring Bae Doona, Arata Iura, Itsuji Itao
One of the most daring films by Hirokazu Kore-eda (AFTER LIFE, SHOPLIFTERS) this fable of modern alienation transports the Galatea myth to present-day Tokyo. It’s there that a life-size blow-up doll (Bae Doona) lives in a shabby apartment, a mute companion to her middle-aged owner. Their routine—each day he talks to her, bathes her, makes love to her—is interrupted when fantasy becomes reality and the air doll suddenly comes to life. Like a newborn baby, she doesn’t understand what is going on around her, but she sees a world waiting to be explored outside the apartment and sets out to understand what “being alive” really means. Beautifully shot by cinematographer Mark Lee Ping-bing (IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE), this bittersweet romantic fantasy explores the complexities of love and loss, joy and pain, and the intricacies and frailties of human existence.