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Like Someone in Love

Videophiled: ‘Like Someone in Love’

LikeSomeoneInLoveLike Someone in Love (Criterion, Blu-ray+DVD Combo, DVD) – After making his first dramatic feature outside of Iran with Certified Copy, a film shot in Italy with stars from France and England, Abbas Kiarostami hopped cultures once again, landing in Japan where he put together an odd, opaque, knotty little piece on love and affection and sex and desire that is a perfect fit with both the director and the chosen cultural milieu.

If you didn’t know it was Kiarostami behind the camera, carefully framing those scenes to keep your perspective limited like a bystander from compromised vantage point, you might think you’d stumbled across a brilliant young Japanese talent (with a sympathy for an elder’s experience) exploring the codes and assumptions and ambiguities of modern relationships in a complex social crucible. Rin Takanashi plays college girl and part-time prostitute Akiko, who has to cancel on her boyfriend for a last minute client, and Tadashi Okuno is the retired professor Takashi who hires her services and can’t decide if he wants to be sugar daddy or sage grandfatherly guardian. There’s something tender and yearning in his relationship with Akiko which gets more complicated when he tries to pass on advice to her jealous, hotheaded boyfriend (Ryo Kase), who really blows up when he discovers that Takashi is no doting family relative after all.

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