Norwegian Wood | Chicago Reader

Norwegian Wood

Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung (The Scent of Green Papaya) adapts Haruki Murakami's nostalgic Japanese novel, retaining the most poignant images but grossly oversimplifying the suicide and mental illness that figure in the story. Set mainly in Tokyo in 1969, the movie follows a quiet university student passively in love with the girlfriend of a pal who killed himself a few years earlier. Delicate camera movements successfully evoke the willed naivete of Murakami's prose, and the editing (by Mario Battistel, who worked on Tran's Vertical Ray of the Sun) is no less accomplished, conveying through subtle elisions a sense of time slipping away. But in minimizing the novel's morbidity, Tran also denies its obsessive pull. Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead wrote the score. In Japanese with subtitles.



  • Anh Tran


  • Rinko Kikuchi
  • Ken'ichi Matsuyama
  • Tetsuji Tamayama
  • Kengo Kôra
  • Eriko Hatsune
  • Shigesato Itoi
  • Haruomi Hosono
  • Kiko Mizuhara
  • Reika Kirishima
  • Tokio Emoto
  • Takao Handa


  • Chihiro Kameyama
  • Masao Teshima
  • Shinji Ogawa

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