Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

Winner
Silver Bear
Berlin International Film Festival
Nominee
Golden Bear
Berlin International Film Festival
Nominee
Teddy Award ~ Best Feature Film
Berlin International Film Festival
A perfect entry point into Hamaguchi’s work...both times I watched this movie, I found something to admire, consider, argue with and weep over.

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Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

An unexpected love triangle, a failed seduction, and a chance encounter with the past. Propelled by coincidence and imagination, and guided by love’s gentle current, acclaimed director Ryūsuke Hamaguchi (Happy Hour, Asako I & II) returns with an enchanting triptych that spins mundane encounters into a world of infinite possibilities. In Episode 1: Magic (or Something Less Assuring), a young woman is startled when she realizes that her best friend’s new flame might just be her ex; in Episode 2: Door Wide Open, a disgruntled student plots to trick his college professor, using his friend-with-benefits as bait; and in Episode 3: Once Again, a girl’s college reunion leads to an unanticipated run-in with an old friend, and awakens feelings long since forgotten. Playfully inspired by life’s tiny miracles, and bound together by memory, regret, deception, and fate, Hamaguchi leaves no stone unturned in his quest to chart the ever-deepening mysteries of the all-too-human heart.

"The geometry of desire is elegantly plotted in
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy... a perfect entry point into Hamaguchi’s work... Both times I watched this movie, I found something to admire, consider, argue with and weep over." Critic's Pick! - The New York Times

"Mysterious doublings tend to occur and recur in the work of the brilliant Japanese writer-director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, one of the most exciting filmmaking talents to emerge in recent years... A poignant, sometimes piercing triptych of tales... playful, beguiling and quietly affecting... The unforgettable closing image contains emotional multitudes, and it throws the meaning of all three stories into subtly clarifying relief: The past may be irretrievable, but the present is still a gift." - The Los Angeles Times

"A stunning production... amongst the best of the year, and a beautiful reminder of all the lives being lived in spite of our oddly lifeless time." - The Film Stage

"Hamaguchi proves himself to be one the most astute observers of human conditions in contemporary cinema. It's one of those films you want to see it again immediately after finishing it." - Screen Anarchy

"A haunting, funny, tightly written meditation on loneliness and connection." - Vox

"The situations he conjures, probes and plays with in this film are a joy to watch unfold." - Little White Lies

"An alternately scathing, erotic, terrifying, and affirming fable of the primordial power of storytelling." - Slant

"Wonderfully beguiling... Hamaguchi’s three stories suggests nothing less than the fullness of life pushing through." - IndieWire

"Ingenious, playful, sparklingly acted and thoroughly entertaining portmanteau collection. Elegant and amusing, with a delicacy of touch and real imaginative warmth.... An invigorating experience."
- The Guardian

"Full of understated, melancholy poetry... emotionally authentic and consistently absorbing." - The Hollywood Reporter

"In terms of conceptual ambition and formal adventurousness,
Wheel Of Fortune is every bit the equal of Drive My Car. It’s also arguably the most concerted expression of Hamaguchi’s artistic preoccupations to date." - The AV Club
Not Rated
Genre
Drama, Romance
Runtime
121
Language
Japanese
Director
Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Writer(s)
Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Cast
Kotone Furukawa, Ayumu Nakajima, Hyunri, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Katsuki Mori, Shouma Kai, Fusako Urabe, Aoba Kawai
Awards:
Winner, Silver Bear, Berlin International Film Festival
Nominee, Golden Bear, Berlin International Film Festival
Nominee, Teddy Award ~ Best Feature Film, Berlin International Film Festival
Nominee, Audience Award ~ City of Donostia Audience Award, San Sebastián International Film Festival
Nominee, Sebastiane Award ~ Best Film, San Sebastián International Film Festival
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