Like Someone in Love

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“Every shot – everything you see, and everything you don’t – imparts a disturbing and thrilling sense of discovery.” — A.O. Scott, NY Times

Year: 2012
Country: France, Japan
Running time: 109 mins
Censor Rating: M - sexual references

Producers: Marin Karmitz, Horikoshi Kenzo

Photography: Yanagijima Katsumi

Editor: Bahman Kiarostami

Production designer: Isomi Toshihiro
Costume designer: Miyamoto Masae

In Japanese with English subtitles



With: Takanashi Rin (Akiko), Okuno Tadashi (Takashi), Kase Ryo (Noriaki), Denden (Hiroshi), Suzuki Mihoko (the neighbour), Mori Reiko (Nagisa), Kubota Kaneko (Akiko’s grandmother), Kishi Hiroyuki (old student), Ohori Kouichi (the taxi driver), Tatsumi Tomoaki (the auto mechanic), Kasugai Seina (Nagisa’s friend)

Following the Tuscan arthouse puzzle of Certified Copy, Iranian maestro Abbas Kiarostami proves uncannily at home in Tokyo. This tantalising drama of uneasy romantic illusions pulses with the power and glancing beauties of that unique metropolis. Like Someone in Love explores a brief encounter between an elderly professor (81-year-old stage actor Okuno Tadashi playing his first leading film role) and a sociology student (Takanashi Rin) who moonlights as an escort. Dispatched across the city by her insistent pimp, the young woman finds the old gentleman intent on cooking her some soup, talking, and playing Ella Fitzgerald records. Hovering in the wings is the student’s volatile boyfriend (Kase Ryo), fed the story that the grandfatherly client is indeed a kindly relation. Performed, shot and edited with rare grace, the simple tale evinces a searching account of three beleaguered, hopeful individuals acting just like people in love: inhabiting their own shifting illusions and each others’ – not to mention ours.

“It’s a thing of beauty with a heart of darkness; the surfaces [in a Kiarostami film] have never been so alluring, so enticing, so literally lovely… Kiarostami’s immediate and instant fusion of philosophical thought, intimate detail, and the very act of cinematic vision makes this film one of his very greatest, certainly among the singular and crucial movies of recent years.” — Richard Brody, New Yorker

“Like the yearning Jimmy Van Huesen/Johnny Burke torch song that lends it its title, Abbas Kiarostami’s Like Someone in Love is a sly, teasing riff on the heart’s irrational stirrings.” — Scott Foundas, Village Voice

Festivals: Cannes (In Competition), Toronto, New York, London 2012