Akiko, a student juggling money problems, exams, a visiting grandmother and a clinging boyfriend, is reluctantly persuaded by her bar-proprietor boss to go and spend the evening with an elderly man of some importance. She expects him to expect sex… This being a Kiarostami film, however, things aren’t that simple. Consistently engrossing and intriguingly ambiguous from beginning to astonishing end, this account of a brief, maybe fateful encounter has a surpassing subtlety of expression and delicacy of tone, even as it touches lightly but tellingly on a range of themes to do with relationships and age, truth and falsehood, adversity and acceptance. The performances – some by first-timers – are terrific, but it’s the sly script, exquisite visuals and elegant, imaginative direction that are most impressive. Another daring and quietly brilliant work from a master of cinema.
France-Japan 2012. Dir Abbas Kiarostami. With Rin Takanashi, Tadashi Okuno, Ryo Kase. 109min. Digital. EST. A New Wave release. NEW PRINT
In association with BFI Southbank, 3:AM can offer a pair of tickets to Like Someone in Love for its end of run at the BFI Southbank next week (until July 4). To enter, email us with the name of Kiarostami’s 2010 film starring Juliette Binoche and your preferred showings — first correct entry wins.