Asako I & II
Japanese director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi's career received an enormous boost this year when he was awarded an Oscar for his beautiful, multi-layered Drive My Car. Of course, this did not come out of the blue, as evidenced by his previous remarkable films such as Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy. In 2018, he made Asako I & II, a love story based on Tomoka Shibasaki's novel Nete mo samete mo, about the magic and curse of being in love. Due to the corona pandemic, this film has never been shown in the Netherlands before.
The young Asako from Osaka falls head over heels for the free-spirited Baku. Their love is intense, but after six months Baku disappears without a trace. A few years later, she is now living in Tokyo, Asako meets a man who looks exactly like Baku, but he introduces himself as Ryohei. Even though he is the opposite of Baku in everything, Asako falls in love with him.