Su-ki-da [2005] • Japan

I felt Hiroshi Ishikawa's previous film, Tokyo.Sora, set out to make boring an accomplishment so I wasn't interested in seeing this until I discovered Hiromi Nagasaku in Don't Laugh at My Romance and then Funuke Show Some Love, You Losers! She's a versatile actress who elevates every film she's in and brings the necessary talent to make this low-key character study work. The script and story here aren't much--secret love, disease, recognition, love, death--typical melodrama, but Nagasaku and her younger self counterpart played by Aoi Miyazaki are truly engaging and look remarkably like they could be the same person ten years apart. I could literally see their thought and emotional processes. If you are going to leave the camera on an actor for minutes at a time without any dialog, you better have good actors. The director's signature long shots and pale, landscapey photography compliment well here. This is not for the Harlequin crowd, it's an art-house film with a capital A. Lovely and meditative. Su-ki-da means I love you.


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