Japanese Story - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Japanese Story Reviews

August 20, 2004
An underdeveloped film that requires all of [Collette's] ample skills merely to rise to the mediocre.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
August 20, 2004
Lots of pictures begin strongly only to lose their focus; this one gains momentum with every sequence -- ambivalent at first, we're firmly hooked by the final frame.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 7, 2004
Tsunashima gives a deft performance in a role that starts out as caricature but becomes full-bodied. Collette commands the screen virtually the entire time.
April 23, 2004
Starts off promisingly. Eventually, though, it collapses into melodrama.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
April 9, 2004
Read More | Original Score: B-
April 9, 2004
Fails to engage us in the lives of its characters because it never really introduces them.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
April 2, 2004
Brooks's spare and reverberant film ... stands back from the actors and just lets them be with each other.
April 2, 2004
A mediocre, self-consciously arty story.
February 23, 2004
You know, I'm this close, but I can't recommend it.
February 6, 2004
Flows too quickly past other points where the story needed to slow down to allow the import of what was being said to sink in.
Read More | Original Score: C+
February 5, 2004
Collette truly has a face the camera loves, and her expressiveness gives substance and symmetry to the uneven Japanese Story.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
February 4, 2004
A poignant, unsettling motion picture that will baffle those who have become used to Hollywood's compact, tidy endings.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 30, 2004
Refreshingly simple and quiet.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 30, 2004
To mildly respect Japanese Story is easy. To enjoy it would require an act of will.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
January 30, 2004
Every time Japanese Story threatens to become hackneyed, the movie regains its footing thanks to Collette's lead performance.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
January 30, 2004
This is that rare sort of film that is not about what happens, but about what happens then.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 30, 2004
A mawkish fusion of Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout and the recent Lost in Translation, with cultural politics even more problematic than those Sofia Coppola danced about in her film.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 29, 2004
On one level -- an important one -- Brooks' picture, erotically charged and haunting, is about the way people connect, and change each other, profoundly.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 29, 2004
Overcomes a whole array of mystifying improbabilities and unlikely affinities to serve as an emotionally compelling vehicle for Toni Collette.
January 29, 2004
What begins as a brusquely stated but rather ordinary romance turns into a meditation on mortality that is harsh, potent and unforgiving.
January 29, 2004
Brooks and Collette make us see how fragile our grip on outer reality can be, how quickly it can change, and how the Earth remains eternal beneath those temporal shifts above.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 22, 2004
A film of small surprises.
January 16, 2004
Bedtime Story seems a more appropriate name for the snoozy and unconvincing Australian drama.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
January 16, 2004
Collette gives as commanding a performance as any this year.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
January 15, 2004
Sue Brooks's film, a stretched-out short story set against the natural sublimity of the Australian wilderness, provides Toni Colette with an opportunity to display her range.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
January 15, 2004
Time and space being relative, director Sue Brooks' characters are dwarfed by their environment, their moments made all the more fleeting, and precious, by the black hole of infinity lying at the edge of the screen.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
January 9, 2004
Tsunashima is superb, and a never-better Collette has a radiant intensity that hits you right in the heart.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
January 8, 2004
Brooks and screenwriter Alison Tilson pursue a notion of Asian-influenced understatement in their own sunny, big-boned Australian way.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
January 2, 2004
Compelling and edgy.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
January 2, 2004
As Sofia Coppola did in Lost in Translation, director Sue Brooks here takes the structural elements of cliche fish-out- of-water stories and opposites-attract romances and forms them into something more personal.
December 30, 2003
Toni Collette is finally given ample room to strut her considerable acting stuff in Japanese Story.
December 30, 2003
Totally convincing in a physically demanding role, Collette carries the movie on her shoulders -- and that weight is what it's all about.
December 23, 2003
Develops into a powerfully emotional experience thanks to a career-best performance by Toni Collette.