Air Doll (Kūki ningyō) (2009)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A special kind of toy is suddenly introduced to the real world around her in this artful fantasy from Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda. Hideo (Itsuji Itao) is a middle-aged man who doesn't have many friends, but he wards off loneliness with his companion Nozomi (Bae Du-na), who joins him for dinner each evening and in bed afterwards. But Nozomi is actually an inflatable love doll that can't speak or move on her own -- or she can't until one morning when she discovers she's developed the … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Science Fiction & Fantasy
In Theaters:


as Air Doll

as Junichi

as Hideo

as Sonoda

as Chiyoko

as Todoroki

as Yoshiko
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Air Doll (Kūki ningyō)

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Critic Reviews for Air Doll (Kūki ningyō)

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (6)

The film's poignant depiction of human loneliness is undercut by saccharine notes and a drifting tone.

Full Review… | June 24, 2010
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

A charming, richly textured fable that touches on fundamental questions of existence.

Full Review… | June 18, 2010
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

The movie is a fable etched in comedy, sadness, and mild existential philosophy. Yes, the object of Kore-eda's fairy tale is a life-size sex toy, but it's the size and emotional shading of the toy's new life that interests him.

Full Review… | June 3, 2010
Boston Globe
Top Critic

This follow-up, despite having been in the works for years, feels a tad rushed.

Full Review… | May 16, 2009
AV Club
Top Critic

The urban fairytale about an inflatable sex doll come to life gradually unfurls as an achingly beautiful meditation on loneliness and longing in the city.

May 15, 2009
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Recut to a trim 90 minutes, this fragile yarn would work perfectly and have a chance of an afterlife as a specialty item. In its present form, pic may not get much farther than the fest netherworld.

Full Review… | May 15, 2009
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Air Doll (Kūki ningyō)


It is frustrating to see an interesting premise be made into such an overlong film that fails because of its thematic ambition and lack of focus, as it tries to be about a good too many things at the same time and doesn't know how to fully explore them into a consistent thesis.

Carlos Magalhćes

Super Reviewer


Despite what the unusual premise might lead you to believe, "Air Doll" is a very human, emotional, and strong work. Despite being a little too long and dragging in spots, I was captivated by this film through it's entire duration.

Michael S

Super Reviewer

I'm now a fully dedicated fan to the work of Hirokazu Koreeda. His films are endlessly lovable. Taking on strange ideas but presenting them with most earnestness. Here he does Toy Story/Pinocchio with a blow-up sex doll. She comes to life after her lonely owner leaves for work. She ventures around meeting people and begins to understand the world around her. She longs for a heart but soon finds with a heart comes great pain. This film is a realistic fantasy. Never once do we doubt the story that is being told. It deals with the objectification of women, and the loneliness of humanity. Koreeda never allows us to wallow in self-pity. He presents a montage of lonely characters which is absolutely crushing. He doesn't use cheap techniques, just showing people in their lives. Picking shell out of a cracked egg, dealing with picky customers, overhearing somebody else being chatted up. It's all done with such honesty you soon forget this is a story about a sex doll. Du-na Bae creates a fish out of water character looking for her purpose and happiness, without coming across as stupid or annoying. Her innocence drives the film and makes it all the more tragic. A wonderful piece.

Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

Air Doll (Kūki ningyō) Quotes

– Submitted by Angela T (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Angela T (2 years ago)

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