Norwegian Wood

2012

Norwegian Wood

Critics Consensus

Norwegian Wood is a poetic adaptation of the Haruki Murakami novel that uses rapturous visuals to draw viewers in its exploration of young love and lasting death.

73%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 64

50%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,375
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Movie Info

Tokyo, the late 1960s...Students around the world are uniting to overthrow the establishment and Toru Watanabe's personal life is similarly in tumult. At heart, he is deeply devoted to his first love, Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman. But their complex bond has been forged by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Watanabe lives with the influence of death everywhere. That is, until Midori, a girl who is everything that Naoko is not - outgoing, vivacious, supremely self-confident - marches into his life and Watanabe must choose between his past and his future. -- (C) Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Norwegian Wood

All Critics (64) | Top Critics (24)

Audience Reviews for Norwegian Wood

  • May 06, 2013
    In "Norwegian Wood," Toru(Ken'ichi Matsuyama) is best friends with Kizuki(Kengo Kora). With Kizuki and Naoko(Rinko Kikuchi) being well-nigh inseparable, Toru does not mind playing third wheel to them. After Kikuchi's suicide, Toru migrates to the side of Nagasawa(Tetsuji Tamayama), a ladies' man, in search of more knowledge about the opposite sex. Enter Midori(Kiko Mizuhara). On the one hand, "Norwegian Wood" could be considered a thoughtful meditation on young people's first encounter with death, finding out the hard way that there is no way to compete with the dead. On the other hand, the characters talk a great game when it comes to sex but are less able when it comes down to doing the deed or falling in love for that matter. Just as Toru uses books to keep the chaos of the outside world at bay, others use recent trauma to keep emotions at bay. Sadly, this movie is simply too long for such an intimate story, especially with its many digressions that help to slow the pace to a crawl in places.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 05, 2013
    A lovely adaptation of Murakami's astonishing novel. Norwegian Wood is the Murakami book that I think shouldn't be used as an introduction to his worlk. So seeing it as a film I can perfectly understand the film's mixed reviews. This isn't the most approachable film in the world. At times it has a strong story going on, but then becomes more of a visual feast, before jumping long distances of time while trying to maintain the chemistry between characters. It is a story of change, loss, and moving on, with a sense of emptiness that is very haunting in the most meditative kind of way. Matsuyama and Kikuchi are a gorgeous couple both in terms of their looks, and the passion they clearly hold for each other. The film's biggest drawback is the sporadic use of voiceover, which can only hint at the involving narrative it is taken from. With its absence throughout the majority of the film, the fairly blunt dialogue and explorations of sexuality can seem in your face. More of a visual companion to the novel than a stand alone film, it's still a very interesting piece which will hopefully inspire more adaptations of Murakami's works.
    Luke B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 12, 2012
    The soundtrack is pretty rad but I hate the movie.
    Cita W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 01, 2012
    Lots of haters for this film out there but I thorough enjoyed it. The theme unfortunately is death, death, death and our human responses to it made all the more poignant with the fact that those impacted are so early in their own lives. Genuinely touching.
    John B Super Reviewer

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