AWFJ Presents OH LUCY! – Review by Liz Whittemore

At the suggestion of her niece, lonely middle-aged Setsuko takes English lessons. When her plucky teacher John goes missing, Setsuko gets on a plane to California in search of love and a life-changing adventure. Atsuko Hirayanagi’s film explores hidden sadness and uncertainty through spontaneous and irrational behavior. Oh Lucy! underscores the lengths we’ll go to feel whole.

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OH LUCY! — Review by Cynthia Fuchs

“Open your mouth a little bit more. Let out more sound.” At her first English lesson, Setsuko (Shinobu Terajima) learns from her teacher, John (Josh Hartnett), that to speak “American English,” “You need to be lazy, lazy and relaxed, let it go.” The one-on-one class proceeds: John misspells her name on his whiteboard, then gives her an American name, Lucy, before he advises, “Relax, don’t be nervous. Looks like you need a hug.” During the embrace, Setsuko is visibly uncomfortable, but he takes no notice. “What can I say”? he smiles, “I’m a hugger.”

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