|Directed by||Hirokazu Koreeda|
|Produced by||Hirokazu Koreeda
|Written by||Hirokazu Koreeda (screenplay)
Yoshiie Gōda (original manga)
|Music by||World's End Girlfriend|
|Cinematography||Pin Bing Lee|
|Editing by||Hirokazu Koreeda|
|Distributed by||Asmik Ace Entertainment
|Running time||125 minutes|
Air Doll (空気人形 Kūki Ningyō ) is a 2009 Japanese drama film directed by Hirokazu Koreeda. It is based on the manga series Kuuki Ningyo by Yoshiie Gōda, which was serialized in the seinen manga magazine Big Comic Original, and is about an inflatable doll that develops a consciousness and falls in love. The movie debuted in the Un Certain Regard section at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival. It opened in Japanese cinemas on 26 September 2009.
Middle-aged Hideo lives alone with an inflatable doll he calls Nozomi. The doll is his closest companion. He dresses it up, talks to it over dinner, takes it out for walks in the community (with the doll in a wheel chair) and has sexual intercourse with it. However, unbeknown to Hideo, Nozomi finds a heart. After Hideo leaves for work each day, Nozomi dresses in her maid's outfit and explores the world outside their apartment with a sense of childlike wonder. Eventually she takes a job in a video store and becomes romantically involved with one of the employees. He discovers her secret—with unanticipated results.
- Bae Doona as Nozomi (Air Doll)
- Arata as Junichi
- Itsuji Itao as Hideo
- Joe Odagiri as Sonoda (the doll maker)
- Sumiko Fuji as Chiyoko
- Masaya Takahashi as Keiichi
- Susumu Terajima as Todoroki
- Kimiko Yo as Yoshiko
Reaction to the film's debut screening at Cannes was mixed, with reviewers praising Bae Doona's performance but criticising the film for its length and a lack of substance. Screen International's Dan Fainaru described the film as having a "rather thin narrative core" and its director's approach as "too diffuse", but concluded that it could be "an enjoyable work" under the right conditions. Writing for Variety, Dan Ellery said the film would have potential if cut to about 90 minutes but that "in its present form, pic may not get much farther than the fest netherworld." In contrast, The Hollywood Reporter's Maggie Lee described it as "an achingly beautiful meditation on loneliness and longing in the city" and suggested its themes would particularly appeal to female audiences.
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- Fainaru, Dan (2009-05-15). "Air Doll (Kuki Ningyo)". Screen International. Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
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- Lee, Maggie (2009-05-15). "Film Review: Air Doll". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
- "Air Doll (Regular Edition)". CDJapan. Archived from the original on 8 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
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- Official website (Japanese)
- Air Doll at Fortissimo Films
- Kūki Ningyō at the Internet Movie Database
- Air Doll at Rotten Tomatoes