Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda • Drama • With Bae Doona, Arata Iura, Itsuji Itao • 2009 • 116 minutes
A present-day fable for the increasing disconnect we find in urban life, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Air Doll transports the Galatea myth to present day Tokyo.
A life-size sex doll (Bae Doona, The Host) lives in a shabby apartment in Tokyo. She cannot speak, nor can she move. But she is the only companion her middle-aged master has. He talks to her, puts her in a bath, and makes love with her every day after he returns from work.
This routine life is disrupted when fantasy turns into reality. The sex doll suddenly comes to life, filled with a soul. When she wanders into a video store, her world is forever changed. A romantic fantasy that explores the complexities of love and loss, joy and pain, fantasy and reality, this bittersweet love story examines the intricacies and frailties of human existence.
Adapted from the manga by Yoshiie Goda and featuring breathtaking cinematography from Mark Lee Ping-Bing (In The Mood For Love).
"The movie is a fable etched in comedy, sadness, and mild existential philosophy. Yes, the object of Kore-eda's fairy tale is a life-size sex toy, but it's the size and emotional shading of the toy's new life that interests him." —Wesley Morris, Boston Globe