Sometimes you can look at a film’s write-ups and realise it’s something you’ll love, but at other times a film will just surprise you — and this one for me is very much the latter. I can’t quite put my finger on what I respond to in director Momoko Ando’s style but she definitely has an eye for framing, and for almost deadpan actions — just simple stuff sometimes, like the way her protagonist Haru rolls out of bed in the morning. Of course the acting is key too, and Hikari Matsushima manages to convey Haru’s withdrawn persona really well without making her unlikeable. As the relationship story progresses, it goes in some odd directions, but ultimately this is a quiet, reflective film about quite turbulent emotions.
Director/Writer Momoko Ando 安藤桃子 (based on the manga translated as “Love Vibes” by Erika Sakurazawa 桜沢エリカ); Cinematographer Koichi Ishii 石井浩一; Starring Hikari Mitsushima 満島ひかり, Eriko Nakamura 中村映里子; Length 107 minutes.
Seen at home (DVD), London, Saturday 18 March 2017.