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Rating: 8.5 stars

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Japan actors seizures cult acting film festival

Seen 2 times

Seen on: 07/20/2020, 07/19/2020 (rewatch)

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Special Actors (2019)

Directed by Shinichiro Ueda

Comedy

Most recently watched by sleestakk, sleestakk

Overview

Kazuto has a lifelong dream of becoming an actor, but has been suffering from a special medical condition where he faints and collapses when he gets nervous. One day, he encounters his brother, Hiroki, who he hasn’t seen for years. Hiroki invites Kazuto to a talent agency called SPECIAL ACTORS where they do unusual roles in which actors portray real people in real life.  After accomplishing some tasks, they are now assigned to a very difficult operation, which is to save the client’s inn from being taken over by a cult group. Would Kazuto be able to accomplish this mission!?

Length 110 minutes

Actors

Ayu Kitaura | Yaeko Kiyose | Mana Minamihisamatsu | Saburou Miyajima | Kazuto Osawa | Hiroki Kono | Tan Li | Takuya Fuji | Yosuke Ueda | Ayumi Nigo | Miyu Ogawa | Rina Tsugami | Tatsuya Mitsuki | Takahiro Kawaguchi | Mana Sakurai | Issei Yamashita | Keisuke Hirose | Takumi Harano

Viewing Notes

The JAPAN CUTS film festival provides a 30 hour window to view a title once you start viewing it. When I watched this I already knew I wanted to see it again b/c I enjoyed it so much. Glad I did b/c I this movie is so damn good. In fact I now believe this is better than Shinichiro Ueda’s ONE CUT OF THE DEAD, which seems crazy to think given response that film has rec’d. I need to revisit it again but for a few reasons I just really love SPECIAL ACTORS so much.

Similar to a rewatch of ONE CUT, this movie also pays off on a second viewing as you can see how all this came together leading up to that big finale. I like that Ueda clearly had a bigger budget yet still kept it a small movie. And a personal movie. It’s so very Japanese, which I love, and yet I could totally see this being remade in America. I laughed a lot during this movie and absolutely watch it again to see if it maintains its humor. There are a few beats that just had me losing it b/c they are executed so perfectly. When the “yakuza” show up at the cult center is one of my favorite moments in cinema this year.

All that said, I’ve already read some reactions and reviews that have been rather critical of this movie. One in particular really panned the film and declared it a major failure compared to ONE CUT. Whatever. Just like any movie, YMMV. All I know is that I love this movie and heart it possesses. Even knowing the ending I still teared up a little on this rewatch b/c it’s so wonderful and heartwarming. I hope Third Window/Arrow gets this one, too, so I can own it.

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