1h 36m | Directed by Atsuko Hiranyanagi | USA, Japan | Comedy, drama
Film Independent Spirit Awards
Best First Feature – Nominee
Best Female Lead – Nominee (Shinobu Terajima)
Sundance Film Festival – NHK Award
Oh Lucy! follows Setsuko (Shinobu Terajima), a single, emotionally unfulfilled woman, seemingly stuck with a drab, meaningless life in Tokyo. At least until she’s convinced by her niece, Mika (Shioli Kutsuna, Deadpool 2), to enroll in an unorthodox English class that requires her to wear a blonde wig and take on an American alter ego named “Lucy.” The new identity awakens something dormant in Setsuko, and she quickly develops romantic feelings for her American instructor, John (Josh Hartnett). When John suddenly disappears from class, Setsuko travels halfway around the world in search of him, and in the outskirts of Southern California, family ties and past lives are tested as she struggles to preserve the dream and promise of “Lucy.”
Hirayanagi isn’t selling a packaged idea about what it means to be human; she does something trickier and more honest here, merely by tracing the ordinary absurdities and agonies of one woman’s life.
Manohla Dargis | New York Times | Full review
Hirayanagi has a way of gradually getting inside her characters that slowly renders them comprehensively known, intimately exposed and surprisingly surprising.
Colin Covert | Minneapolis Star Tribune | Full review
Hirayanagi gives her lead respect by framing her specific dilemma in a way that feels sincere.
Andrew Lapin | NPR | Full review