Mizu no onna   2002   Japan Woman of Water
Woman of Water Image Cover
Additional Images
Director:Hidenori Sugimori
Studio:Artist Film
Writer:Hidenori Sugimori
IMDb Rating:6.6 (180 votes)
Awards:1 win
Genre:Drama, Fantasy
Duration:115 min
Hidenori Sugimori  ...  (Director)
Hidenori Sugimori  ...  (Writer)
Ua  ...  Ryo
Tadanobu Asano  ...  Yusaku
Hikaru  ...  Yukino
Yutaka Enatsu  ...  Tadao Shimizu
Ryûichi Ôura  ...  Yoshio
Mayumi Ogawa  ...  Midori
Yuki  ...  Satoko
Yôko Kanno  ...  Composer
Hiroshi Machida  ...  Cinematographer
Hidenori Sugimori  ...  Editor
Comments: A very nice looking indie art house film that seems like it might roll over and play dead at any minute but never does. It also never really gets up and goes anywhere either, which is fine because films that are nice to sit back and look at might as well move along at a leisurely pace. Woman of Water is a bunch of pretentious, metaphorical poetry about man and woman and fire and water fueling a story about a woman who runs a bath house and whose intense emotional states are always accompanied by rain and the arsonist whom she hires to stoke the fires that keep her bath water warm.

The film stars singer UA (pronounced "oowa") in her first movie role and gains a lot of art house credibility by pairing her with Japanese heartthrob Asano Tadanobu. They both get naked a bunch of times so it's a gawker's paradise as far as these things go. Even though UA is playing water her dark sensuality is more earthy than watery and her sex appeal is more ethereal than liquid. Born Kaori Shima, her stage name UA is Swahili for flower or kill. She's not idol-of-the-month beautiful by a long shot, more mysterious and a little worn looking with a well-grounded and tough charisma. She does fine in her acting debut even though her main responsibility lies in being photographed well more than exercising any major thespian chops.

Don't go into this one hoping for any strength of narrative. It's meandering and opaque. Both of the characters have baggage in their past meant to give the film some emotional appeal but it might as well be a silent movie with the freewheeling and oblique way the plot develops, mixing dreams, fantasies, deja vu, and visual metaphors in equal measure. This one is for fans of art house esoterica only.


Summary: The award-winning fantasy drama marks acclaimed singer UA's first starring role in a motion picture. Ryo (UA) personifies water, since whenever something important happens in her life, it rains. She inherits a bathhouse and meets a pyromaniac named Yusaku (Tadanobu Asano of Party 7, Electric Dragon 80.000 V, Distance) Their confrontation leads to an inevitable union, just like elements of nature blend together. Music produced by Yoko Kanno of "Cowboy Bebop" and "Escaflowne" fame. The film won a Golden Alexander award at the 2002 Thessaloniki Film Festival in Greece.

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