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Air Doll(空気人形)

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Japan

2009

2h 5m

Director Hirokazu Kore-eda

Starring Bae Doo-na, Arata Iura, Itsuji Itao, Joe Odagiri

Genre Drama

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An "air doll" suddenly come to life one day. Without her owner knowing, she goes for a walk around town and falls in love with Junichi. She starts to date Junichi and gets a job at the same store where he works. Everything seems to be going perfect for her until something unexpected happens.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

40

Variety by Derek Elley

Japanese helmer Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ongoing interest in love, loss and souls in limbo is stretched way too thin in Air Doll, a beautifully lensed (by Taiwanese ace Mark Lee) and charmingly played (by South Korean icon Bae Du-na) modern fairy tale about an inflatable doll who takes on a life of her own. Recut to a trim 90 minutes, this fragile yarn would work perfectly and have a chance of an afterlife as a specialty item. In its present form, pic may not get much farther than the fest netherworld.
70

NPR by Mark Jenkins

Overly long and occasionally clumsy, Air Doll can't be counted among Kore-eda's best. But much of it is lovely and expressive, and it's one of those films that can haunt viewers long after they've left the theater.
67

The A.V. Club by Mike D'Angelo

The film is a little too cute and scattershot to achieve real profundity, with the doll-woman too often coming across like a playfully erotic version of Being There’s Chance the Gardener, defined entirely by her absence of guile.
50

San Francisco Chronicle by Walter Addiego

The idea is intriguing - an inflatable sex doll comes alive and experiences the world with wide-eyed innocence - but Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Air Doll" is only partly successful. The film's poignant depiction of human loneliness is undercut by saccharine notes and a drifting tone.
75

Boston Globe by Wesley Morris

For 75 minutes or so, Air Doll is the lightest of Kore-eda’s movies, which include the superb “Nobody Knows’’ (2004) and “Still Life’’ (2008). Gradually, though, the tender music-box score — by one-man Japanese band world’s end girlfriend — is tinged with foreboding.

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