Abbas Kiarostami, the writer/director of the critically acclaimed “Certified Copy,” travels even further afield from his native Iran for this mysteriously beautiful romantic drama filmed entirely in Japan. Like Someone in Love revolves around the brief encounter between an elderly professor (81-year-old stage actor Tadashi Okuno, here playing his first leading role in a film) and a sociology student (Rin Takanashi) who moonlights as a high-end escort. Dispatched to the old man by her boss—one of the professor’s former students—the young woman finds her latest client less interested in sex than in cooking her soup, talking, and playing old Ella Fitzgerald records. Eventually, night gives way to day and a tense standoff with the student’s insanely jealous boyfriend (Ryo Kase); but as usual in Kiarostami, nothing is quite as it appears on the surface. Are these characters—who conjure in one another the specters of regret and roads not taken—meeting by chance, or is it fate? Is this love, or merely something like it? (IFC)









Film information

Starring: , , , , , ,
Release date: Feb 15, 2013
Official website:
Runtime: 109 min
Movie Reviews:
  • 100
    The New York Times - by A.O. Scott
    Every shot — everything you see, and everything you don’t — imparts a disturbing and thrilling sense of discovery. ...

  • 100
    Village Voice - by Scott Foundas
    The movie's sense of immutable desire resonates well after the lights have come up. more

  • 90
    Los Angeles Times - by Sheri Linden
    From moment to moment the low-key intrigue threatens to slip into Hitchcock territory; when it does, it's not in the form of high-wire suspense but in a burst of understated playfulness. ...

  • 89
    Austin Chronicle - by Leah Churner
    The characters’ painful inability to connect only endears them to us, and somehow the film seems, like any human object of our affection might, more vivid and more knowable in its absence. more

  • 88
    Philadelphia Inquirer - by Steven Rea
    With an attention to the telling detail that one finds in a great short story, Kiarostami guides Takanashi and Okuno - and then Kase - through the mischievous and melancholy tale. It is quiet. It is lovely. And it will stay with you for a long time. more

  • 88

  • 88
    Chicago Tribune - by Michael Phillips
    It's also gorgeously acted by all, and while this may not be one of Kiarostami's finest, the craftsmanship nonetheless is so high, it makes everything else currently in theaters look slovenly. more

  • 88
    Chicago Sun-Times - by Steven Boone
    The film's craziest, most easily mocked character emerges as the one most fully alive. Old Kiarostami, master of paradoxes, is set in his ways, but his ways are never set. ...

  • 88
    New York Post - by Farran Smith Nehme
    If Like Someone in Love frustrates, it also has ineffable grace in the framing of Kiarostami’s long, languid shots, the changes he captures in the light, and the way the actors’ smallest movements become fascinating. This enigmatic study of identities built on social deceit offers more than easy answers ever could. ...

  • 83
    Entertainment Weekly - by Owen Gleiberman
    The movie is playful and makes no easy moral judgments. more

  • 83
    indieWIRE - by Eric Kohn
    While not his best work, Like Someone in Love is a nimble expression of Kiarostami's appeal: He remains one of the few directors capable of pulling you into a narrative and making you question its motives at every turn. more

  • 80
    Arizona Republic - by Bill Goodykoontz
    Like Someone in Love is not a complicated story, but in Kiarostami’s telling, it is a rich one, and a rewarding one, too. ...

  • 80
    New York Magazine (Vulture) - by David Edelstein
    Like Someone in Love has rather simple, sentimental, melodramatic underpinnings, but the vantage changes everything. It opens up this world — and the next. It’s an enthralling journey. more

  • 75
    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) - by Michael Posner
    A delicate pearl of a movie, Like Someone in Love is thus a meditative dance along the ambiguous borders of truth and illusion. What, Kiarostami seems to be asking, can we actually see? What can we definitively know? Far less than we think. more

  • 67
    Christian Science Monitor - by Peter Rainer
    So free-floating that it floats away. more

  • 67
    The A.V. Club - by Noel Murray
    Is this the stuff of gripping drama? Not at all. But like nearly all of Kiarostami’s films, it’s the stuff of good conversation. more

  • 63
    Slant Magazine - by
    Plays out as a city-mouse rejoinder to the rustic, open-air daydream of Certified Copy, a snarl of thorny free jazz to that film's graceful aria. more

  • 60
    Empire - by David Parkinson
    Now practically an exile from his homeland, Kiarostami follows Certified Copy with another film-literate relationship drama with the enigmatic overtones of Hitchcock. more

  • 60
    New York Daily News - by Elizabeth Weitzman
    Newcomers may be disappointed by such a slender effort, but fans of revered Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami will find plenty to appreciate in his observant followup to 2010’s acclaimed “Certified Copy.” more

  • 60
    The Hollywood Reporter - by Jordan Mintzer
    The film constantly toys with the expectations of both its characters and the audience, transforming a classic three-way tale of mistaken identities into something much more mysterious and troubling. more

  • 58 - by William Goss
    A glimpse into how three different definitions of love can find themselves quietly at odds, the interactions between our three leads are always convincing if not always compelling. more

  • 50
    San Francisco Chronicle - by Walter Addiego
    Like Someone in Love is best suited to viewers already familiar with this extraordinary filmmaker's better work. more

  • 50
    Variety - by Guy Lodge
    As it turns out, it's the first, not the last, word of the title that's key to this droll, elegant but faintly trying study in emotional artifice. ...

  • 42
    The Playlist - by Kevin Jagernauth
    There is a fine line between meeting an audience halfway and witholding enough without falling into self-indulgence, but Kiarostami can't make that balance here. Enigmatic and dull to a maddening degree, Like Someone In Love finds Kiarostami spinning his wheels. more

  • 40
    Time Out New York - by Joshua Rothkopf
    The director has made disappointing films before — a more generous word might be transitional — but never one so slight. more

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User Comments & Reviews

  1. Liana Shimunova

    Another mediocre film from the over-rated Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami.