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All About Lily Chou-Chou (Riri Shushu no subete)

All About Lily Chou-Chou (Riri Shushu no subete) (2001)

tomatometer

71

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 4

No consensus yet.

audience

89

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 7,901

My Rating

Movie Info

Wildly popular filmmaker Shunji Iwai breaks a three-year hiatus following his less than successful April Story with this elliptical drama about teenaged alienation, violence, and celebrity. The film centers on Yuichi Hasumi (Hayato Ichihara), an eighth grader who lives in a sleepy town in rural Japan with his mother, her boyfriend, and the boyfriend's son. At school he is beaten up and harassed by his former friend Hoshino. In order to scrape up the cash to meet Hoshino's daily extortion demand,

Feb 15, 2005

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All Critics (46) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (12) | DVD (7)

For all of its insights into the dream world of teen life, and its electronic expression through cyber culture, the film gives no quarter to anyone seeking to pull a cohesive story out of its 2 1/2-hour running time.

March 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This movie is maddening. It conveys a simple message in a visual style that is willfully overwrought.

November 29, 2002 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
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Once you get into its rhythm ... the movie becomes a heady experience.

November 15, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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A hypnotic cyber hymn and a cruel story of youth culture.

September 20, 2002 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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While the story's undeniably hard to follow, Iwai's gorgeous visuals seduce.

August 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bravura, ambitious and profoundly disturbing. It is also a daunting, demanding experience, one whose complex structure makes it a challenge to track despite literate subtitles.

August 16, 2002 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is remarkable not for its flamboyance but for its stark honesty, captivating visual flair, and a style of filmmaking that differs from anything on this side of the Pacific.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

The gutsy film didn't help itself by making it so difficult to follow the story and by being so morose.

January 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

One thing is for sure: This movie does not tell you a whole lot about Lily Chou-Chou.

November 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

I'm not sure All About Lily Chou-Chou made sense in my head, but it made sense in my heart.

October 25, 2002 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Confusion is one of my least favourite emotions, especially when I have to put up with 146 minutes of it.

October 8, 2002

A difficult, absorbing film that manages to convey more substance despite its repetitions and inconsistencies than do most films than are far more pointed and clear.

September 27, 2002 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

... captures the pain and desperation of adolescent powerlessness and humiliation with powerful intimacy...

August 29, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

A film that's flawed and brilliant in equal measure.

August 26, 2002 Full Review Source: BBC

A film of quiet power.

August 20, 2002 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

At an indulgent two and a half hours, the film plays like a poetry reading that drags on too long.

August 16, 2002 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

While this has the making of melodrama, the filmmaker cuts against this natural grain, producing a work that's more interested in asking questions than in answering them.

August 15, 2002
New Times

A woefully dull, redundant concept that bears more than a whiff of exploitation, despite Iwai's vaunted empathy.

July 27, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for All About Lily Chou-Chou (Riri Shushu no subete)

First off, All About Lily Chou-Chou looks beautiful. It's switching from digital to 35mm is brilliant, the direction, cinematography and editing is great, as is the non-linear narrative. The music is also suitably haunting, an important thing to get right considering the subject matter - I still can't get that 'I see you, you see me' song out of my head. It's only real problem, and unfortunately it's a big one, is that it drags on for far too long and, well, how do I put this, no one does teenage angst as unconvincingly as the Japanese. Harsh I know, but I just can't stand Japanese high-school dramas - I find them annoying and unrealistic. Shame really, as this film was so nearly a five star film!
April 23, 2012
SirPant

Super Reviewer

If watching other people's home movies, and chatlogs, about new age mumbo jumbo appeals to you, knock yourself out--but I was too bored to give this movie the kind of attention it demanded to follow its disjointed out-of-order scenes. 146 minutes was way too much for me on this one.
December 14, 2010
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

Shunji Iwai's All About Lily Chou-Chou is one of those films that stands out on its own.The story is quite unique and so is the writing, but this film is not for everybody. It shows how music can be a place for people to seek sanctuary from their everyday lives. The story can be tough to get into and the run time is just under 2 and a half hours. The first hour and the last 30 minutes are the better parts, while the middle tends to drag.With that said, Shunji Iwai's directing makes this worth watching. For the most part, the camerawork is great. The cyber texting element that Iwai employs consistently throughout the picture is also a creative element worthy of note.Hayato Ichihara's character is a bit bland, but he works well with what he has. The rest of the supporting cast is also good. Shugo Oshinari, Aoi Yu, and Ayumi Ito stand out the most. Takao Osawa also shows up with a funny character.All About Lily Chou-Chou may only be the best film to some, but it is one of those movies that sticks with nearly every other viewer for a good amount of time. If only once, this is one to consider watching.
September 28, 2009
skactopus
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

all about teen angst and the need to make connections and sense of the world. good cinematography, strange narrative structure. it will frustrate alot of people but i liked it. debussy reinforced the impressionist tone. could've used some cutting tho
September 19, 2009
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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