1999 / 1:85:1 / 115 Min. / Street Date – February 12, 2019
Starring Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina
Cinematography by Hideo Yamamoto
Directed by Takashi Miike
It could be described as lyrically sadistic but de Sade himself might flinch at Audition – like its fragile leading lady, Takashi Miike’s film treads ever so softly before lowering the boom on its stupefied audience.
Ryo Ishibashi plays Shigeharu Aoyama, a middle-aged widower tired of sleeping in a single bed but ill-equipped for the dating game. Like the desperate anti-heroes of so many noirs, Aoyama makes just one mistake but it’s a doozy – he stages a sham audition as his personal matchmaking service. Into that not-so-tender trap steps Asami, a supernaturally shy ballerina with secrets all her own.
Miike spins their gauzy-lensed courtship with kid gloves and compassion and by the time the happy couple set sail for a seaside rendezvous we’re aching