Saturday, December 18, 2010

Autumn Adagio - Fuwaku no Adajio 2010

Director - Tsuki Inoue

Rating - 4/5

A Japanese nun approaching the menopause.

Set to the backdrop of a beautiful Japanese autumn, this is the story of Japanese Catholic nun, Sister Terasawa, played by Rei Shibakusa. It is a nuanced and delicate film, a transition. The story, perhaps a little unusual, is moving and well shot. Terasawa has, unsuprisingly, lived a quiet life. As she approaches the turning point of the menopause, three men enter her life. Each is completely different but they all begin to have a profound effect on her, making her ask questions about the choices and sacrifices she has made.

The film uses music and dance to extraordinary effect. The scenes with the ballet dancers, of which Terasawa, like us sits spell-bound watching are of the highest order. They express Inoue's message with a profound clarity. It is immediately evident why she chose to work with non-professional actors, Inoue wrote the film with Shibakusa, a musician by trade, in mind. The power of these moments coupled with the visual style, radiates from every scene and make a big impression. The films autumn is captured beautifully, visually depicting the change in Terasawa. It's an unusual and beautiful little film, that speaks clearly.

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