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 divorcée 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 goof-ball 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. In the end, Non-Ko is a successful portrait of a woman who feels anger, isolation, and disappointment in equal measure.
Nobuko tried to be successful as an actress in Tokyo, but wasn't popular. She married her manager and soon divorced. Now a once-divorced woman in her mid-30s, she returns home to the Shinto shrine that her family runs, to help out with domestic chores.
November 28, 2022 at 05:05 PM
1 hr 44 min
Another nearly great film from Kazuyoshi Kumakiri.
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