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  • Sunny

    Sunny

    ★★★★

    Sunny is recommended viewing for every friendship; every clique; every circle; every group of remotely friendly associates. It's a rousing piece about the comfort, pain, and pleasure shared among companions from the classroom into adulthood. Youthful camaraderie and suffering are set to the backdrop of South Korea's democracy movement, tactfully relating history to a new generation of spectators.

    The entire child cast are tremendous, but there are two particularly notable performances. Shim Eun-kyung, who plays the young Na-mi, is terrifically…

  • Love Letter

    Love Letter

    ★★★★

    Shunji Iwai's feature debut Love Letter is every bit as heartfelt and wondrous as I hoped, and is a fine display of his talents as a filmmaker by and large. Most notably, I was struck by how multi-faceted and marvellously intertwined the movie is.

    Hiroko is struggling tremendously to let go of her late fiance Fuji; when she comes into contact with one of his childhood friends, she almost obsessively grasps at this other persons early memories of her fiance,…

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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…