When I Close My Eyes

  • 1995
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Drama, Romance

Japan's top-grossing movie of 1995, this offbeat not-exactly-romance involves two women bound together by their separate relationships with the same man. The film, which played festivals as Love Letter, opens in Kobe at a memorial service for Itsuki Fujii, who died two years earlier in a mountain-climbing accident. Itsuki's still-grieving fiancee Hiroko...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Japan's top-grossing movie of 1995, this offbeat not-exactly-romance involves two women bound together by their separate relationships with the same man. The film, which played festivals as Love Letter, opens in Kobe at a memorial

service for Itsuki Fujii, who died two years earlier in a mountain-climbing accident. Itsuki's still-grieving fiancee Hiroko (Miho Nakayama) comes across his high-school yearbook and, acting on a disconsolate whim, sends a letter to Itsuki's old address in Otaru, a "letter to heaven" she knows

will never be delivered. But to Hiroko's surprise and consternation, the letter is not only delivered but answered: There's another Itsuki Fujii in Otaru, a young librarian (also played by Miho Nakayama) who went to junior high school with her male counterpart and endured three years of teasing

and juvenile insinuation from her classmates because of it. The two women exchange memories through the mail but never meet, though Hiroko catches a tantalizing glimpses of the young girl Itsuki in a yearbook photo and briefly sees her adult counterpart breeze by on a bicycle, only to be lost in a

crowd. Still, their lives are inextricably linked through the same kind of cosmic coincidence that drives the equally cryptic DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE. The film's pace is leisurely, and the simultaneously intimate and strangely detached relationship between the correspondents has an unresolved

quality that may frustrate viewers who prefer their movies more conventionally structured. But the film's many poignant -- and sometimes surprisingly funny -- moments leave a haunting mental aftertaste. This enigmatic film's U.S. distributor, Fine Line Cinema, also has the rights to develop an

English-language remake in partnership with Meg Ryan's Prufrock Pictures: In the wake of CITY OF ANGELS' success, the odds that it will be made have probably improved considerably.

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  • Released: 1995
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Japan's top-grossing movie of 1995, this offbeat not-exactly-romance involves two women bound together by their separate relationships with the same man. The film, which played festivals as Love Letter, opens in Kobe at a memorial service for Itsuki Fujii… (more)

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