All I can say is I am happy to see Japan and Japanese actors treated with respect in a major Hollywood film. Japan as an actual setting – not as a passing curiosity or a place of alienation (although I did like Lost in Translation) – and the Japanese as actual characters, not as caricatures or object of ridicule. “Everything has meaning,” says Mariko, and thank you for saying that. I love Rila Fukushima (Yukio) in this.
I am really tired of Wolverine (this is Hugh Jackman’s sixth time playing the character), but The Wolverine is an engaging watch.
Jagten (The Hunt) (2012)
Mads Mikkelsen plays Lucas, a kindergarten teaching assistant who is wrongly accused of pedophilia. The small town persecution feels much too much at times – it ends up making me feel like the filmmakers are milking the situation to elicit more tears, to detrimental effect – but my God, watch it for Mikkelsen’s sublime performance (his reaction to the injustice made me physically ill, he is that effective) and that beautiful ending.
Todo Sobre Mi Madre (All About My Mother) (1999)
I remember J asked me what this film is about after I watched it, but even as I told him the narrative, it couldn’t capture the heart of this film, the tragedy and joy of it, the visual mosaic of A Streetcar Named Desire, All About Eve, a transplant coordinator starring in a video about organ donation only to experience it days later in real life. Watch it.