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  • Shoplifters

    Shoplifters

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    "Nobuyo came from the actress, Sakura Ando. She is an actress who is quite faithful to the script normally, but while we were filming, she came to me and said, 'The father wants to be called "dad" by the boy, but what about my character? Would Nobuyo want to be called "mother"?' I said, 'Probably she does, but not so much.'

    That prompted me to think about the character's thoughts—about wanting to be called 'mother' or not—so I added the…

  • The Road

    The Road

    ★★★★

    - "Do you ever wish you would die?"
    - "No. It's foolish to ask for luxuries in times like these."

    Kodi and Viggo are remarkable here. The film has such weight to it; the desolation feels actual and pressing. The decision to use real locations and to photograph the genuine environment (harsh weather, falling trees) adds so much to its grandeur, which is tidied and finished seamlessly by an impressive concoction of visual effects. Really tremendous film, beautiful and bleak.

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  • Air Doll

    Air Doll

    ★★★★

    - "Do you wish you had never found a heart?"
    - "I don't know, but... It hurts."

    This film has some truly bewitching exchanges. Some of the dialogue, and much of Bae Doona's monologue, is so terrifically concocted and expressed. Couple this with the composition — the delicate camera work and Koreeda's knack for timing, knowing precisely when to linger — and it creates a profoundly poignant and strangely mesmeric account on loneliness and companionship.

    Even then, the score adds…

  • Death Note

    Death Note

    This is a terrible adaptation, pure and simple. It’s an utter bastardisation of the Death Note manga and its anime adaptation, and barely resembles what it is apparently based on. It’s as though the original work were a third or fourth reference, rather than the immediate source.

    The major issues are in the plot and characterisation. The original version of Death Note is a psychological thriller and part police procedural, in which law enforcement attempt to track down a seemingly…