Like its source material from Haruki Murakami, this is a beautiful film that exquisitely captures grief and sadness, and unsurprisingly, it probably won't help you if you're suffering from seasonal affective disorder.
| Original Score: B
The acting in the film is key. Every moment by Ken'ichi Matsuyama as Watanabe and Rinko Kikuchi as Naoko is valid yet seems distilled by memory rather than presented raw.
Director Tran Anh Hung would much rather show than tell but he never wants to brag about what he's showing.
| Original Score: 4/5
... suffused in melancholia, with imagery as delicate as the lives it presents and atmospheres so fragile they look like they'd shatter under too much emotional pressure.
Like an old memory that never loses its hold, "Norwegian Wood" stays with you.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
As melancholy and fragile and at times even as lovely as the John Lennon composition from which it borrows its name...
| Original Score: 3/4
We cover years at a bound, but when we light, we tend to spend long, lingering moments through the camera's loving eye. This is a beautiful film to see.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
An angsty (albeit sensual) tale of great love and great loss.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Tran has drained the life right out of the novel.
| Original Score: 2/4
It doesn't hit you head on so much as seep into you, and its effects linger.
| Original Score: B+
It becomes a film that, like its characters, remains elusive in its motivations and therefore detached from its audience.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
A master of mood and visuals, Tran proves an inspired choice.
It's most likely to appeal to fans of the Haruki Murakami novel on which it's based, and they're the least likely to enjoy it.
The mood is downbeat and the characters are slow to warm to the audience, yet Hung creates some visually striking imagery.
It's sweet all the way up, wavers in dread and slides down to doom.
This lush, eventually torpid adaptation of Haruki Murakami's more nuanced 1987 cult-favorite novel considers youthful love, loss, and eros...
| Original Score: B-
The juxtaposing of nature and three young lovers make this film a feast for the eyes and the heart.
| Original Score: 8/10
A visually stunning and moving piece of storytelling bolstered by searing performances and a standout score by Jonny Greenwood.
Maybe this was the project Tran has been waiting for. I rate this the best film of his non-prolific career by far.
It takes no significant liberties with the plot, and it captures the novel's delicate, half-hopeful, half-mournful tone. So why, unlike its source material, does it feel only half-alive?
| Original Score: 6.5/10