Japanese Story - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Japanese Story Reviews

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September 16, 2016
Challenging yet provocative movie
½ August 3, 2015
A small movie with a big heart, anchored by Collette's monumental performance & stunning photography. A slow start gives way to shocking plot twist that propels the film's existential sensibility.
½ June 29, 2015
Really interesting story with one fine performance from Collette.
May 30, 2015
A powerful film about both the power and ultimately helpless nature of being human. Toni Collette and Gotaro Tsunashima offer painfully realistic performances that carry more weight that is not fully realized until the credits begin to role.
November 22, 2014
Slow-moving and a little odd.
October 4, 2014
Poignant film that showcases Collette's great range of talents, as well as the beauty of the Australian desert, to show qualities that cross the culture gap.
July 26, 2014
I loved it at first.....then he dies..,.wtf
February 14, 2014
Japanese Story was, at times, hard to relate to. It seemed that the depth of her emotions did not match up to the situation at hand. However, there was beauty to the movie as well. You begin to see how the relationship between Sandy and Tachibana grows into a companionship, and although it doesn't seem to be love, they certainly care about each other. They look past the language barrier and rely on their senses to carry them along. The film was exploding with nonverbal cues, and had it not been, it would have been absolutely terrible. The sex scene, for example, created the idea that they could communicate in ways other than speaking. This film was not one I would probably leisurely watch in my free time, but I do think it was well made and well executed.
February 13, 2014
This movie had the potential to become a great movie, but it needs more development. It is an incredibly slow movie that doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Based on the plot summary, it isn't clear how the person who wrote the plot summary got that from the movie itself. There needs to be some clearer context, clearer dialog, and an all over faster paced movie. However, the nonverbal communication was great.
½ January 9, 2014
Toni Collette is wonderful: emotional range, plausibility. She carries the movie but is ably assisted by cast, and subtle direction. Better than the Tomatometer says.
December 11, 2013
Well.. that was unexpected....
½ November 27, 2013
A promising idea, and superficially looks the part too. Sadly the script is weak and the on-screen chemistry lacking. Disappointing.
October 22, 2013
The sudden turn the film's narrative and mood takes profoundly overwhelms you. Not really a mass entertainer. But, for those interested in exotic and quiet style of world cinema where subtlety and expressions tell a greater tale than grandiose and verbose don't give this movie a miss.
October 20, 2013
This haunting and mesmerizing story of love begins rather deceptively as Sandy (Toni Collette), an Australian geologist, bitches to her boss about being tasked with overseeing Hiromitsu (Gotaro Tsunashima), a young Japanese executive who has no patience for anyone who doesn't bow and show a business card. But take him on the town she does, even holding his head when he's puking after an all night karaoke bender. She's even more irritated the next day when Hiromitsu demands she drive him into the Australian outback. Then they get stranded. As they endure the heat and cold the two bond and make peace over stories of her mother and his wife and kids. The two forge a bond that transcends language and culture. And then director Sue Brooks, from a script that sometimes spells it our for you too much by Alison Tilson, unleashes a huge surprise no review should give away.

Japanese Story, superbly shot by Ian Baker, is a film you breathe in. Tsunashima is outstanding and Collette turns in one of her finest screen hours, radiating palpable intensity that shakes you. She's the real deal.
½ August 14, 2013
One of the most interesting movies I have ever seen. So very much is left unsaid in words. But volumes are told through actions and emotions. Very beautiful and simplistic. Worth seeing.
½ April 27, 2013
This movie had potential. It starts off well enough but quickly escalates into becoming melodramatic, fails to give us any real insight into the characters and their lives, and parts that should have gotten more attention were flipped through too quickly to get us comfortable and understanding. The dialogue wasn't bad and I liked the actor and actress, but otherwise the story was rather dull and boring. I will admit the ending threw me for a loop. I was not expecting that to escalate the way it did, and that gives it some favor from me. But not enough to justify that I was falling asleep watching this. If not for this being an assignment, I could've gone without seeing it.
½ January 13, 2013
Moving, dreamlike, tender yet forceful tale of human connection and grief. Great visuals and performances from the leads.
December 7, 2012
Japanese subject matter appeals...
November 30, 2012
This is really a moving film, and really makes you appreciate the beauty (and danger) of the Australian landscape
½ August 28, 2012
Toni collete is limitless and had talent that ranges to any movie character. this movie was nominated and won her AFI awards (prestigus in Austrila).Plus captivating critic hearts at the film festival in Toronto. i see the art in this movie but i give it a 2 star because it lacked important information and the end was long and bleek. i wanted to cry but couldn't feel the story enough.
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