Directed by Junji Sakamoto
Viewed at the San Francisco International Film Festival
Face is an unusual crime story featuring an ordinary full bodied recluse as the unlikely hero. I ended up loving her, a criminal who brutally killed her sister, and I hoped for her as she ran from the police. She started as a homely introvert hiding beneath her mother's skirt. She ended as a free wheeling personification of freedom. And along the way, the film showed a new side of Japan, a new youth with different dreams and values. It brought to light some ugliness, some blandness. The film seemed to be magically propelled by mysterious, though worthy motivations. Yet the story seemed real to me, as if it really happened. In fact, I just didn't notice the drama, so lost was I in her journey. And the camera work and colors were skillfully done, delightfully subtle and even ordinary at times, yet bold. It seamed as if the camera was in the right place. As a viewer, I relaxed in the arms of this movie and I felt comfortable there.
Reviewed by Eric Wolfram, FilmCities