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Wife of a Spy(スパイの妻)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Japan

2020

1h 54m

Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Starring Yu Aoi, Issey Takahashi, Masahiro Higashide, Ryota Bando

Genre Drama, War

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On a business trip to Manchuria in 1940, Yusaku, owner of a trading company in Japan, discovers a terrifying national secret. Empowered by a feeling of justice, he is determined to inform the world of what he found. Satoko, his wife, initially vowing to stand by him, soon grows disillusioned with her life.

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67

IndieWire by David Ehrlich

While this crisp and subdued Hitchcockian melodrama represents yet another unexpected pivot from a filmmaker who’s never liked putting one foot in front of the other (it’s Kurosawa’s first period piece), it’s also just a well-done slab of red meat from someone who hasn’t served up a satisfying meal in so long that it seemed as if he might’ve forgotten how.
90

The Hollywood Reporter by Deborah Young

Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s intriguingly titled Wife of a Spy (Spy no Tsuma) bookends the Second World War in an absorbing, exotic, well-paced thriller with moments of disconcerting realism and horror.
80

Variety by Guy Lodge

The film is a relatively unfamiliar fit for its prolific helmer, given its sharply evoked period milieu and restrained, classical storytelling. He wears it well: After a slowish start, Wife of a Spy unmasks itself as one of his most purely enjoyable, internationally accessible entertainments.
80

Screen Daily by Jonathan Romney

A film of sober elegance and control, Wife Of A Spy never quite delivers on the tautness of its build-up, but it is beautifully executed and features a number of teasingly ambivalent performances, notably from lead Yu Aoi.
75

The Film Stage by Rory O'Connor

The protagonists of Wife of a Spy often act out of character, which all bodes efficiently well for the film’s slippery web of conceit, but ultimately quells a great deal of something the film is otherwise lacking in: feeling. It is, for my money, Kurosawa in low key; an interesting inclusion to a wonderfully idiosyncratic career.

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