a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Dear Doctor / ディア・ドクター

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Director Miwa Nishikawa hit the ground running with her wicked 2003 debut, Wild Berries (Hebi Ichigo). Small, tightly wound tales dealing with duplicity, plot twisting revelations and keen eye for life’s absurdities put her in a similar league as Argentina’s Lucrecia Martel (La Cienega). Dear Doctor is a bit more feel-good than her previous oeuvre, yet it fits in well with her ideas and obsessions and moves her observations outside the realm of family politics into the theater of community. Rakugo stalwart, Tsurube Shofukutei, stars, doing a wonderful character turn as the well-loved doctor at a small country town community clinic. The ball is set in motion for the uncovering of his well-kept secret when a young intern (Eita) shows up on his doorstep. Veteran character actress, Kaora Yachigusa, plays the widow Kazuko, who adds to the revelations with a touchingly heartfelt portrayal of an aging obasan. Tokyo Sonata’s leads, Teruyuki Kagawa and Haruka Igawa, show up, along with Kimiko Yo (Departures) to fill out a wonderful ensemble cast.

Originally published in EL Magazine, June 2009

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

June 1, 2009 at 12:20 am

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