Screened as part of NZIFF 2013

Like Someone in Love 2012

Directed by Abbas Kiarostami

Iranian maestro Kiarostami (Certified Copy) proves uncannily at home in Tokyo. His tantalising drama of uneasy romantic illusions explores the encounter of a young student and the elderly professor who pays for her company.

France / Japan In Japanese with English subtitles
109 minutes DCP



Marin Karmitz
Horikoshi Kenzo


Yanagijima Katsumi


Bahman Kiarostami

Production designer

Isomi Toshihiro

Costume designer

Miyamoto Masae


Takanishi Rin (Akiko)
Okuno Tadashi (Takashi)
Kase Ryo (Noriaki)
Denden (Hiroshi)
Suzuki Mihoko (the neighbour)
Mori Reiko (Nagisa)
Kubota Kaneko (Akiko’s grandmother)
Kishi Hiroyuki (old student)
Ohori Kuichi (the taxi driver)
Tatsumi Tomoaki (the auto mechanic)
Kasugai Seina (Nagisa’s friend)


Cannes (In Competition), Toronto, New York, London 2012


Following the Tuscan arthouse puzzle of Certified Copy, Iranian maestro Abbas Kiarostami proves uncannily at home in Tokyo. This tantalising drama of uneasy romantic illusions pulses with the power and glancing beauties of that unique metropolis. Like Someone in Love explores a brief encounter between an elderly professor (81-year-old stage actor Okuno Tadashi playing his first leading film role) and a sociology student (Takanashi Rin) who moonlights as an escort. Dispatched across the city by her insistent pimp, the young woman finds the old gentleman intent on cooking her some soup, talking, and playing Ella Fitzgerald records. Hovering in the wings is the student’s volatile boyfriend (Kase Ryo), fed the story that the grandfatherly client is indeed a kindly relation. Performed, shot and edited with rare grace, the simple tale evinces a searching account of three beleaguered, hopeful individuals acting just like people in love: inhabiting their own shifting illusions and each others’ – not to mention ours.

“It’s a thing of beauty with a heart of darkness; the surfaces [in a Kiarostami film] have never been so alluring, so enticing, so literally lovely… Kiarostami’s immediate and instant fusion of philosophical thought, intimate detail, and the very act of cinematic vision makes this film one of his very greatest, certainly among the singular and crucial movies of recent years.” — Richard Brody, New Yorker

“Like the yearning Jimmy Van Huesen/Johnny Burke torch song that lends it its title, Abbas Kiarostami’s Like Someone in Love is a sly, teasing riff on the heart’s irrational stirrings.” — Scott Foundas, Village Voice

Festivals: Cannes (In Competition), Toronto, New York, London 2012