PÖFF: Oh Lucy!

The life of late middle aged office lady Setsuko Kawashima beats a humdrum track framed by meaningless chores with lip-serviced colleagues and lonely nights with ciga­rettes and beer in a small, who-knows-when cleaned apartment. Setsuko’s creeping depression and hopelessness to find a partner is not even shaken by a suicide she witnesses the subway – which she takes with a stoic demeanor.

One day Setsuko receives a call from her hyperactive niece Mika who has gotten herself into trouble by enrolling to an English conversational class, but is unable to pay nor participate. After an intensive deliberation Setsuko decides to step in by participating by herself just to find the language school is held in a shady love hotel by an overtly friendly yet attractive American teacher John. To break the ice John applies a peculiar strategy – by appointing his students American names and forcing them to transform their personas by wearing a wig and engaging in physically close body language.

Based on her award winning and eponymously titled short film, Atsuko Hirayanagi’s debut feature „Oh Lucy!“ is a twist laden black tragicomedy on the desire and expectations of falling in love, the black humour accompanying difficult family relationships, the absurd that goes often along with cross-cultural conflict, and the realization that despite troubles light might flicker at the end of the tunnel.

Sten Saluveer