Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
[Gūzen to sōzō], directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Japan 2021, 121' (English friendly)
The female protagonists of Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy keep returning: to a romance that ended, a mistake from the past, the town where they experienced their first love. But it is also a journey towards a growing sense of the extraordinary, as the film, which begins like a classic slice of life, slowly moves towards science fiction. The author of Happy Hour and Asako I & II spins the wheel of fortune with mastery, and the scenes – mostly shot in interiors – are phenomenal, nuanced portraits of relationships. Witty observations and a discreet sense of humour are accompanied by a sadness that makes Hamaguchi's film a quiet sigh over missed opportunities and our imperfection.