Late Bloomer (2004) - Rotten Tomatoes

Late Bloomer (2004)

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Movie Info

In Go Shibata's black-and-white DV feature, Late Bloomer, handicapped actor Sumida Masakiyo plays Sumida, a disabled man, wheelchair-bound, who seems to lead a simple life. He spends many nights drinking to excess, often with one of his caretakers, a musician named Take (Naozo Hotta), and his days sleeping it off, and wandering the streets. He frequently buys cheap plastic army men from a vending machine in his neighborhood. He always seems to be smiling, which might lead one to believe that he's a reasonably happy man. But there seems to be something unpleasant under the surface of his grin. Then Nobuku (Mari Torii), an attractive young student caretaker, arrives on the scene. Sumida quickly grows obsessed with the woman, who videotapes their encounters for a thesis project. One night, Nobuku accompanies Sumida to one of Take's concerts, and Sumida senses a mutual attraction between his two friends. This makes him jealous. Nobuku soon discovers that Sumida is not as sweet and harmless as he seems, but when she decides to stop caring for him, her pretty roommate Aya (Sumiko Shirai) arrives to take her place. Before long, Sumida's frequent violent fantasies become a disturbing reality. Late Bloomer was shown at the 2005 New York Asian Film Festival, presented by Subway Cinema.

Cast

Sumida Masakiyo
as Sumida Masakiyo
Torii Mari
as Nobuko
Ariko Arita
as Caregiver
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Critic Reviews for Late Bloomer

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (7)

Considering its five-year production history, Late Bloomer is a regrettably scattershot affair.

December 31, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
Seattle Times
Top Critic

You have to meet the film's visual style halfway. It's shot in contrasty black and white, slo-mo, fast-mo, sometimes jagged cutting, sometimes an erratic hand-held camera that suggests the jerky way Sumida must view the world.

November 6, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

You might not like what you see, but you will appreciate it. And you certainly won't forget it for a while.

July 25, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
New York Post
Top Critic

Weird, wicked and wonderfully perverse, Late Bloomer pulses with frigid energy. Watching it is like having your finger trapped in a light socket: no matter how much it hurts, you can't quite tear yourself away.

July 25, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
New York Times
Top Critic

Strangest for genuinely empathizing with the monstrous Sumida-san as if he were the typical disabled lead in an inspirational heartstring-tugger.

July 23, 2008 | Full Review…
Village Voice
Top Critic

doesn't add much profundity to the human condition

January 26, 2010 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
Old School Reviews

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