Maboroshi no hikari (Maborosi) (Illusion)
Maboroshi no hikari (Maborosi) (Illusion) (1995)

Japanese documentarian Hirokazu Kore-eda made his first dramatic feature with this austere drama, which recalls the visual and narrative style of Yasujiro Ozu. Yukimo (Makiko Esumi) is married to Ikuo (Tadanobu Asano), a happy and humble… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: March 29, 2005
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Derek Adams
Time Out

The tale is told in contemplative wide-angle shots; the absence of any spurious, unearned intimacy with the characters makes the climactic scenes profoundly moving.

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James Berardinelli

Maborosi is a worthwhile movie experience not because it ventures into virgin territory, but because its presentation is so precise and unique.

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Daniel Eagan
Film Journal International

Widow tries to find out why her husband killed himself. Slow-paced but moving Japanese drama.

Stephen Holden
New York Times

The film, which was made with only natural light, draws the viewer into its spiritual mood with one breathtaking shot after another, as the camera draws back to contemplate Yumiko from afar.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Maborosi is one of those valuable films where you have to actively place yourself in the character's mind. There are times when we do not know what she is thinking, but we are inspired with an active sympathy.

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Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle

The film uses natural lighting exclusively, eschewing staged settings as often as possible and keeping some nighttime scenes entirely in the dark, an eerie mirror to Yumiko's wounded heart.

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Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle

Nothing is casual and nothing is wasted in Maborosi.

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Mark Pfeiffer (Ohio)

[Hirokazu's] also one of the most empathetic filmmakers, softly guiding viewers through his meditations on life and death.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A superior film.

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Flixster Audience Score: 83% Flixster User Reviews
Lesley N
I knew nothing about this film before I watched it (rare in itself) and not a whole heap more after it had finished. I don't speak Japanese, so even the… More