Air Doll (Kūki ningyō)
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A special kind of toy is suddenly introduced to the real world around her in this artful fantasy from Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda. Hideo (Itsuji Itao) is a middle-aged man who doesn't have many friends, but he wards off loneliness with his companion Nozomi (Bae Du-na), who joins him for dinner each evening and in bed afterwards. But Nozomi is actually an inflatable love doll that can't speak or move on her own -- or she can't until one morning when she discovers she's developed the heart, flesh and soul of a human being. Unfamiliar with the world outside Hideo's… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 43%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film's poignant depiction of human loneliness is undercut by saccharine notes and a drifting tone."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"The urban fairytale about an inflatable sex doll come to life gradually unfurls as an achingly beautiful meditation on loneliness and longing in the city."
‑ Maggie Lee, Hollywood Reporter
"Far smarter than 'Lars and the Real Girl'"
‑ John Esther, UR Chicago Magazine
"What's most interesting about the story is not its apparent oddness, but the fact it maintains a sense of fairy tale magic even while it's set in a cold and seemingly hollow world."
‑ Sara Maria Vizcarrondo, Boxoffice Magazine
"Kind of like what Wim Wenders did in Wings of Desire, but here it's all hot air."
‑ Peter Keough, Boston Phoenix
"A charming, richly textured fable that touches on fundamental questions of existence."
‑ Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Recut to a trim 90 minutes, this fragile yarn would work perfectly and have a chance of an afterlife as a specialty item. In its present form, pic may not get much farther than the fest netherworld."
‑ Derek Elley, Variety
"Air Doll wears that compassion on its sleeve a little too earnestly and humorlessly. Even an airhead could see that."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"Air Doll goes on far too long and plays with so many different themes that it seems more like a doodle than a film."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"A sex-toy Pinocchio? Offenbach's Olympia as an inflatable courtesan? If only."
‑ Fernando F. Croce, House Next Door
"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
"Hirokazu's meandering, diffuse storytelling leaves the film feeling even longer than its near two hour running time, and it becomes difficult not to hope for the appearance of sharp objects just to introduce an element of suspense."
‑ Keir Roper-Caldbeck, The Skinny
"Here's where I'm contractually obligated to refer to her performance as 'brave,' as that's trusty film-critic shorthand for 'naked a lot.'"
‑ Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly
"A blow-up sex doll develops a soul and discovers a world"
‑ Corey Hall, Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
"The writer-director's interest in desire and longing is habitually channeled through quirky-quick brushstrokes that reduce the already borderline-pretentious proceedings into full-blown treacle."
‑ Nick Schager, House Next Door
More reviews for Air Doll (Kūki ningyō) on Rotten Tomatoes