In recent years, Abbas Kiarostami has moved beyond his ironic studies of life in Iran, as exemplified by ‘Close-Up’, ‘Through the Olive Trees’ and ‘Taste of Cherry’ (which won the Palme d’Or in 1997). And yet his attention to the nuances of human behaviour are no less detailed.
This beguilingly slight drama, which unfolds in a quiet Japanese suburb, tells the story of an ageing translator (Tadashi Okuno) who pays for a young escort to join him for an evening. His only desire is company for a meal he has cooked. However, he soon finds himself far more involved in her life than he expected, even having to deal with a troublesome ex.
The pleasure of Kiarostami’s lovely chamber drama lies in never quite knowing what to expect next, the wry comedy he draws out from certain situations and the excellent performances of the two leads.