Norwegian Wood Reviews

Top Critic
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
June 19, 2013
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.
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Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
March 15, 2012
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
March 2, 2012
Tran has drained the life right out of the novel.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
March 1, 2012
It becomes a film that, like its characters, remains elusive in its motivations and therefore detached from its audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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G. Allen Johnson
San Francisco Chronicle
February 2, 2012
A master of mood and visuals, Tran proves an inspired choice.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 19, 2012
It's sweet all the way up, wavers in dread and slides down to doom.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
January 12, 2012
This lush, eventually torpid adaptation of Haruki Murakami's more nuanced 1987 cult-favorite novel considers youthful love, loss, and eros...
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
January 6, 2012
A visually stunning and moving piece of storytelling bolstered by searing performances and a standout score by Jonny Greenwood.
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
January 6, 2012
Maybe this was the project Tran has been waiting for. I rate this the best film of his non-prolific career by far.
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Stephanie Merry
Washington Post
January 6, 2012
"Norwegian Wood" is a restrained portrait of liminal moments, a coming-of-age tale that feels more like a moody ghost story than a neatly contained chronicle of beginnings.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
January 6, 2012
Even for a film set in a land that considers paper folding an exciting activity, this is dull stuff.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
January 6, 2012
The gently diffuse light and color and the compositions by cinematographer Mark Lee Ping Bin, create a delicate, almost watercolored world, fading like a memory.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Justin Chang
Variety
January 5, 2012
While this beautiful-looking film at times succeeds in capturing its source material's delicate emo spirit, it's far less attentive to the richness of Murakami's characters.
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January 5, 2012
The truth is knotty in Norwegian Wood, deftly adapted by Franco-Vietnamese writer-director Tran Anh Hung from Haruki Murakami's most popular novel.
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
January 5, 2012
"Norwegian Wood" registers less as a coherent narrative than as a tortuous reverie steeped in mournful yearning.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
January 5, 2012
Tran seems to realize that the best a filmmaker can do under these circumstances may be to substitute visual for linguistic beauty. And he has created stunning tableaux, before which the saddest of stories unfolds.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Sam Adams
AV Club
January 5, 2012
Norwegian Wood is a beauteous, lukewarm bore.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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David Fear
Time Out
January 4, 2012
The film is perilously close to being an exercise in tactile but touchy-feely passive-aggression.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Mark Holcomb
Village Voice
January 3, 2012
Two and a half hours that offer barely a hint of the beloved 1987 cult novel's true flavor.
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David Jenkins
Time Out
March 9, 2011
The performances of the young cast attain an affecting blend of reticence and hope, but it's Tran's fastidious technique that nudges the film into the realms of greatness.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Deborah Young
Hollywood Reporter
September 3, 2010
[A] long, elegantly shot, sporadically involving Japanese film.