Nonko 36-sai (kaji-tetsudai)   2008   Japan Non-Ko
Non-Ko Image Cover
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Director:Kazuyoshi Kumakiri
Studio:Nippon Shuppan Hanbai (Nippan) K.K.
Writer:Kazuyoshi Kumakiri
IMDb Rating:7.8 (40 votes)
Genre:Comedy
Duration:105 min
Languages:Japanese
IMDb:1239408
Search:NetflixYouTube
Kazuyoshi Kumakiri  ...  (Director)
Kazuyoshi Kumakiri  ...  (Writer)
 
Maki Sakai  ...  Nonko
Gen Hoshino  ...  Masaru
Shingo Tsurumi  ...  Udagawa
Kanji Tsuda  ...  Tokio Yasukawa
Akira Kitamura  ...  
Eri Nitta  ...  
Shigeru Saiki  ...  
Hitomi Satô  ...  
Masayo Utsunomiya  ...  
Akainu  ...  Composer
Ryûto Kondô  ...  Cinematographer
Comments: Another nearly great film from director Kazuyoshi Kumakiri. The direction isn't as innovative as in Green Mind, Metal Bats, and the story isn't as novel either but Maki Sakai's performance carries the film more than enough for it to be engaging. I don't know why Saki isn't a bigger star. She seems like such an intelligent and courageous actress. Here she plays a thirty-something divorcee who used to be a popular movie actress starring in films with titles like Sexy Gambler and such. She has retreated to the countryside to live with her family who are caretakers of a Shinto shrine that is about to hold its annual celebration. Sakai's character isn't very likable, by viewers or by the other characters in the film, but somehow she makes her internal disappointment with life palpable and it brings you along for the ride. My only problem with the film is that I didn't like the one character who does like her, mostly because I couldn't understand why she comes to, momentarily at least, like him. He's a younger goofball of sorts who's come to set up a stall at the shrine celebration and ends up staying with Sakai's family. It's probably only his youthful ambition she finds attractive. The film is mostly bleak, punctuated with a few happy moments that seem a little out of place, and a couple sex scenes that require the infamous Japanese pixel blur. Non-Ko is a successful portrait of a woman who feels anger, isolation, and disappointment in equal measure.

Summary: A psychological portrayal of a divorced 30 year old woman who returns to her family village and shinto temple, where she encounters sexual gratification but remains emotionally damaged. A master director at work here. The film is mostly bleak, punctuated with a few happy moments that seem a little out of place, and a couple sex scenes that require the infamous Japanese pixel blur. Non-Ko is a successful portrait of a woman who feels anger, isolation, and disappointment in equal measure.


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