Film: Sidonie in Japan

 

 

 

Sidonie in Japan features the great Isabelle Huppert as a noted French author who visits Japan to promote a new translation of her first book.

Sidonie, grieving since the death of her husband, hasn’t written anything for years, but was persuaded to make the trip by her new publisher, Kenzo Mizoguchi (Tsuyoshi Ihara).

He meets her at the airport but it’s an awkward beginning. She’s a stranger in a strange land, where the people bow instead of shaking hands and all the customs are different.

 

 

In the hotel lobby Sidonie is shocked when she suddenly sees her husband Antoine, the man whose death she has been mourning for so long. Kenzo tells her not to worry. “In Japan the invisible and the visible co-exist,” he tells her.

In a week of book-signing and interviews, with frequent reappearances by Antoine’s ghost and conversations with him, Sidonie is increasingly confronted by thoughts of her past.

Kenzo is with her constantly, and as he shows her around beautiful Kyoto at cherry-blossom time the couple draw closer together. Sidonie gradually learns to turn her grief into something positive.

 

 

The film, the third feature from director Elise Girard, is a slow-moving and nostalgic meditation on love and grief, with stunning cinematography by Celine Bozon.

Huppert, regarded as one of the greatest actors of her time, makes the most of the role of Sidonie, a woman trying to find herself in the wake of a major loss.

Sidonie in Japan is now showing at Luna Leederville and the Windsor Cinema.

Watch the trailer…

 

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