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The Woodsman and the Rain

By MITCH LILLIE
[ONE NIGHT ONLY] A bespectacled movie man in a newsboy cap shouts over the growl of the logger’s chainsaw: “Excuse me! Could you wait a minute? We’re in the middle of a take.” He might as well be speaking a different language, and when Katsuhiko (Koji Yakusho), the logger, finally understands and asks if he can do some trimming, the movie man is equally confused. Eventually, the innocent and capricious Katsuhiko becomes involved in the movie, first as an unwilling actor and later an obsessed fan and friend of the film’s gifted but socially inept director and writer, Koichi (Shun Oguri). Shuichi Okita’s film-within-a-film is a study in opposites: rural and urban, young and old, tradition and habit, work and home, rain and sun. Katsuhiko juggles responsibility to the film with honor to his son and departed wife. The residents of the small town, eventually all enlisted as zombie actors, never take off their makeup and startle tourists. Though light on tension, the film’s resolutions are so satisfyingly buoyant that more poignant conflict is unnecessary. Some scenes, as when Koichi cries sadly after receiving praise from a superstar actor, are a bit studied, but overall The Woodsman and the Rain is playful, subtly funny and comforting as rain.
 

Special Note

NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium. 6:30 pm Saturday, Dec. 8
 
  • Running Time:
  • Release Date: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
  • Critic's Score: A
  • Watch the trailer
 

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