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:
  • 90
    Wall Street Journal - by Joe Morgenstern
    The greatest fascination is watching these three people when they're planted firmly inside the frame, talking at cross-purposes while trying to perceive one another in the reflected light of their needs and risky assumptions. 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. more

  • 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
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch - by Joe Williams
    The film is so masterfully controlled, we feel like we’ve eavesdropped on something like life. 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
    Boston Globe - by Ty Burr
    The new film is slender, and it plays obliquely with the style of the 20th-century Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu: simple shots of simple people revealing universal truths. more

  • 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. more

  • 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. more

  • 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
    Slate - by Dana Stevens
    Like Someone in Love is a movie that never quite lets you through to the other side of the glass, but it’s dazzling to watch whatever drifts by on the surface. more

  • 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

  • 67
    Portland Oregonian - by Marc Mohan
    Like Someone in Love meanders with intention toward a bittersweet resolution, but then pulls the rug out from under you in a cruelly ambiguous shot. 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 Jesse Cataldo
    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
    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

  • 40
    The Guardian - by Peter Bradshaw
    It is a beautifully shot, and very nicely acted beginning to something: but finally frustrating. more

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