New movie releases this week include Katherine Heigl’s return to the big screen, plus The Promise, Truman, and more
Matthew Lickona 6 p.m., April 21
A logical follow up to director Abbas Kiarostami’s Certified Copy. From its opening long take — the lead character speaks from outside the frame — Kiarostami's sleight of hand draws us headfirst into this Tokyo tale of purposeful miscommunication and calculated role-playing. (A painting in the film Training a Parrot highlights the themes of resemblance and character; different observers see the moment of frozen action very differently.) Akiko (Rin Takanashi) — co-ed by day, call girl by night — is coerced by her pimp into turning a trick with a preferred, recently widowed client (Tadashi Okuno). The two form a precipitous alliance during the course of two days spent together. There is not a shot or gesture in the entire film that could not withstand rigorous visual analysis, but the film itself is not a puzzle. It’s the work of an assured master whose greatest virtue is making it all look so easy. 2012.