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Golden Slumber

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Golden Slumber

(Goruden suranba)

Canadian Premiere

  • Japan 2010
  • 139 min
  • 35mm
  • Japanese with English subtitles
Official Selection, Berlin International Film Festival 2010
Official Selection, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2010
Official Selection, Udine Far East Film Festival 2010
Official Selection, New York Asian Film Festival 2010


Crime / Thriller

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5 stars out of 5 – Mark Schilling, JAPAN TIMES

“Cerebral audiences will appreciate the plot twists with precisely planted clues along the way” – Maggie Lee, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER


Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Screenplay: Yoshihiro Nakamura, Tamio Hayashi, from Kotaro Isaka
Cast: Masato Sakai, Yuko Takeuchi, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Teruyuki Kagawa
Producers: Yasushi Utagawa, Hitoshi Endo, Hisashi Usui
Print Source: CJ Entertainment



Back in his college days, Masaharu Aoyagi, an obligingly naïve and sentimental delivery boy, was part of a fast-food-eating club that used to speculate about the JFK assassination. Today, he runs into Morita, his old cheeseburger brother. Following a calorie binge, Aoyagi nods out. Upon awakening, Morita lays out the situation. Heavily in debt, he has accepted a mission that would secure his family financially. He was to bring Aoyagi to his car, purposefully parked somewhere on the Japanese Prime Minister’s parade route, and administer a sedative that would leave him unconscious until this exact moment, the moment Morita reveals his new status—he’s the Japanese Lee Harvey Oswald. Initially skeptical, Aoyagi quickly acknowledges the severity of the situation when an explosion is heard behind them. Instantly pursued by the police, he barely escapes. An outcast pursued from all sides, he will have to choose his allies wisely in his fight to survive and expose the truth, an outmatched battle pitting him against powerful individuals that have a few strings to pull. Certain alliances will at least be sparingly used…

For his third venture into the literary work of Kotaro Isaka, author of the book adapted as ACCURACY OF DEATH, Yoshihiro Nakamura delivers a rousing suspense thriller worthy of the master Hitchcock’s blessings. GOLDEN SLUMBER emphasizes character development over all-out action scenes—while there are plenty of exciting chases, it’s closer to 20TH CENTURY BOYS than THE FUGITIVE with its flashback-laden structure, connection to historical events and rock ’n’ roll soundtrack. The film’s title is actually in reference to the Beatles’ “Golden Slumbers,” a song that plays an important role in this tale. Those fortunate enough to have seen FISH STORY, another Fantasia 2010 must-see, will recognize Nakamura’s unique style and re-discover his contagious passion for pop culture and his rare talent for mixing various moods and tones while maintaining an uncompromising fluidity. We go from playful moments that slap grins on our faces to disturbing sequences that jack our heart rates through the roof. Recognizably realistic characters interact with eccentric personalities that appear from out of nowhere (like a troubling but funny, arrested-adolescent serial killer). GOLDEN SLUMBER is inventive big-scale entertainment, filled with twists that respect the intelligence of its audience. In this age of bloated, by-the-book blockbusters, it’s a refreshing sight to behold.

—Nicolas Archambault (translated by Guillaume Desbiens)

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