Monday, May 21, 2012

CANNES 2012 REACTIONS: Abbas Kiarostami's "Like Someone in Love"

Can we give Abbas Kiarostami a little credit for even being able to come up with anything more after "Certified Copy"? It's a feat to make a movie like that, and doubtless a greater one to follow it up. If the Cannes reaction isn't quite so deliciously heated as it was for her previous work, I wouldn't read too much into it. As a matter of fact, don't read too much into any of these opinions. I'm likely to see all these films by close of year anyway. That may have set "Like Someone in Love" to sound like something of a letdown, and in quite a few eyes, it is. But there's enough positivity on the production side of things not to discount it entirely.
Kevin Jagernauth (The Playlist): "Originally working under the title "The End," Kiarostami certainly concludes the picture with a literal bang. What it all means will be left to the viewer to sort out, but it's clear Kiarostami is making some kind of a statement about how personalities can evolve as a result of perception of identity and image. Or something. We're not quite sure and the journey to get there and the work required to unravel the thematic mystery of the film doesn't seem to be worth the effort. There is a fine line between meeting an audience halfway and witholding enough without falling into self-indulgence, but Kiarostami can't make that balance here. Enigmatic and dull to a maddening degree, "Like Someone In Love" finds Kiarostami spinning his wheels."
Jordan Mintzer (Hollywood Reporter): "After deconstructing a would-be romance in the Tuscany-set Certified Copy, Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami takes another trip abroad to explore the depths of unrequited desire in the Japanese drama, Like Someone in Love. However, this being a Kiarostami movie, the “Like” part of the title (taken from the widely covered jazz standard) is to be taken quite literally here, and this enchanting affair (of sorts) between a retired professor and a gorgeous young call girl is never exactly what it seems. Upscale art houses and admirers of the Palme d’Or laureate will be the major clients of this tenderhearted and melancholic work, provided its intentions are not lost in translation."
Guy Lodge (Variety): "Kiarostami's second film set and shot outside his native Iran continues his exploration of other global territories as a direct means of expressing certain cinephilic affections. Just as the Tuscany-set "Certified Copy" casually traced around multiple aspects of Roberto Rossellini's "Voyage to Italy," the spartan Tokyo story of "Like Someone in Love" is laced with references to the filmography of Yasujiro Ozu, from obvious narrative cues like a young woman's affectless neglect of her visiting grandmother to subtler variations on the Japanese master's framing. Quite what the homage is supporting is harder to gauge, as Kiarostami's breezy, sometimes cruel tale of mistaken identity reads as a near-parody of Ozu's still-waters humanism."

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