The Bare Essence of Life (Urutora mirakuru rabu sutôrî) (Ultra Miracle Love Story) (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Bare Essence of Life (Urutora mirakuru rabu sutôrî) (Ultra Miracle Love Story) (2009)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A mentally deficient farmer falls for a pretty teacher who's still struggling to cope with the recent death of her unfaithful boyfriend. Yojin (Kenichi Matsuyama) puts all of his energy into nurturing his grandmother's organic vegetable garden. The harvest has never been very impressive, though he still performs his duties with optimism and energy to spare. One day, seemingly out of nowhere, Tokyo beauty Machiko (Kumiko Aso) appears in the countryside. A friendly nursery school teacher, Machiko has moved to the country to forget about her deceased boyfriend, who was recently killed - alongside his secret lover - in a fatal car crash. Before long Yojin is experiencing an entirely new sensation -- he longs to spend every spare minute with Machiko, and rues the thought that she might not feel the same way about him. Yojin has never been a model of self-control, but his instinct is to reign himself in around Machinko. As their relationship grows deeper, Yojin's attempts to charm Machinko have unintended consequences.

Cast

Critic Reviews for The Bare Essence of Life (Urutora mirakuru rabu sutôrî) (Ultra Miracle Love Story)

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Audience Reviews for The Bare Essence of Life (Urutora mirakuru rabu sutôrî) (Ultra Miracle Love Story)

½

Matsuyama Kenichi delivers a superb performance as Yojin, a young man who has difficulty connecting to and focusing on the world around him and who's resulting behavior is extremely off-putting to those around him (and, pretty quickly, to the audience. Just after encountering the newly arrived attractive young schoolteacher, he accidentally finds that by poisoning himself he can temporarily quiet the mental noise and think more clearly and behave more acceptably. He hopes that by continuing to poison himself be can behave in a way that is appealing to the teacher he is smitten with. Kenichi's capably and seemingly effortlessly portrays Yojin's contrasting states and subtle variations of those states as his self-poisoning gradually becomes less effective. The metaphors about evolution, detachment, and the cycle of life get lost, though, in a story that eventually seems like random oddness rather than purposeful oddity.

Michael Harbour
Michael Harbour

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