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Maboroshi no hikari (Maborosi) (Illusion)

Maboroshi no hikari (Maborosi) (Illusion) (1995)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 8.8/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.

audience

84

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 1,640

My Rating

Movie Info

Japanese documentarian Hirokazu Kore-eda made his first dramatic feature with this austere drama, which recalls the visual and narrative style of Yasujiro Ozu. Yukimo (Makiko Esumi) is married to Ikuo (Tadanobu Asano), a happy and humble man who loves her very much. While Yukimo and Ikuo are content in their marriage and have a beautiful infant son named Yuichi, Yukimo is haunted by visions of death. She has a recurring nightmare in which her grandmother leaves her home to go to the village of

Mar 29, 2005

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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (0) | DVD (4)

The tale is told in contemplative wide-angle shots; the absence of any spurious, unearned intimacy with the characters makes the climactic scenes profoundly moving.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film, which was made with only natural light, draws the viewer into its spiritual mood with one breathtaking shot after another, as the camera draws back to contemplate Yumiko from afar.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Nothing is casual and nothing is wasted in Maborosi.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Maborosi is a worthwhile movie experience not because it ventures into virgin territory, but because its presentation is so precise and unique.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Maborosi is one of those valuable films where you have to actively place yourself in the character's mind. There are times when we do not know what she is thinking, but we are inspired with an active sympathy.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Hirokazu's] also one of the most empathetic filmmakers, softly guiding viewers through his meditations on life and death.

July 16, 2005 Full Review Source: TheFilmJournal.com (Ohio)
TheFilmJournal.com (Ohio)

Widow tries to find out why her husband killed himself. Slow-paced but moving Japanese drama.

July 7, 2005
Film Journal International

The film uses natural lighting exclusively, eschewing staged settings as often as possible and keeping some nighttime scenes entirely in the dark, an eerie mirror to Yumiko's wounded heart.

July 25, 2004 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

A superior film.

August 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Though the audience always remains at a distance, both physical and emotional, from Yumiko, her sense of loss and her inner journey are made vivid by purely filmic means.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

This is a powerful and profound Japanese film about one woman's long and arduous journey through grief's labyrinth.

March 1, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Maborosi is by no means perfect -- it drags a little and leaves a few more unanswered questions than it really needs -- but it contains some very perfect moments.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY
eye WEEKLY

Measured and meditative, the Japanese film Maborosi draws the viewer, without emotional bludgeoning or manipulation, into the experience of a woman who has suffered a devastating personal loss.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

Audience Reviews for Maboroshi no hikari (Maborosi) (Illusion)

I knew nothing about this film before I watched it (rare in itself) and not a whole heap more after it had finished. I don't speak Japanese, so even the title gave nothing away. It's a slow film, a mood piece I guess about the aftermath of a young woman and her child's lives after her partner commits suicide.. Not a lot happens but its very lovely to look at and watchable in a subtle kind of way.
December 17, 2009
lesleyanorton
Lesley N

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Maborosi (DE)
  • Maborosi (Maboroshi no hikari) (UK)
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