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Asako I & II(寝ても覚めても)

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Japan, France · 2018
Rated PG-13 · 1h 59m
Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Starring Erika Karata, Masahiro Higashide, Rio Yamashita, Sairi Ito
Genre Drama, Romance

Asako falls madly in love with a drifter, who one day suddenly disappears from her life. Two years later, working in Tokyo, she sees a young businessman who bears a striking resemblance to her old flame. They begin building a happy life together until traces of her past start to resurface.

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The A.V. Club by A.A. Dowd

Hamaguchi exhibits a careful, un-showy command of the frame, and a talent for creating small, sometimes comic surprises through editing.


IndieWire by Eric Kohn

Hamaguchi finds ways of crystallizing the movie’s themes, lingering on contemplative moments that position the entire story as a metaphor for the contrast between the fantasies and realities of relationships, as well as the messy negotiation required to navigate those extremes.


The Film Stage by Giovanni Marchini Camia

As with the several other slight departures from realism, the artifice added to the story proves distracting. Without being successfully integrated, such choices fail to bestow the narrative with depth and pathos as intended, but only draw attention to the flimsiness of the its construction.


Screen International by Jonathan Romney

While Higashi proves adept at embodying both extremes, Karata proves a rather insipid centre to the film, not just because of the actress’s bland pertness but because of the passivity of the character.


Variety by Maggie Lee

Hamaguchi extols his source for a compelling representation of love as a mystic experience. However, what gets transferred to the screen becomes more like banal indecision.


TheWrap by Steve Pond

There are moments of real beauty in the film, which is an unassuming and contemplative excursion into how we love, and why. But like the fireworks that greet Asako and Baku’s first kiss, its pop is a modest one.

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