by Chris MaGee
I've been both excited and very wary about the upcoming remake of Yoshitaro Nomura's "Zero Focus" ever since it was announced at the end of last year. His 1961 original is amongst my favorite Japanese films of all time and may very well be my favorite mystery film ever, so was difficult to know how to take the news that the folks at Toho and director Isshin Inudo, who previously helmed "La Maison de Himiko", would once again be adapting famed mystery author Seicho Matsumoto's 1959 novel about a woman's search for her missing husband in Post-War Japan to mark the 100th anniversary of Matsumoto's birth. I kept asking myself if Ryoko Hirosue (Bubble Fiction: Boom or Bust, Departures) could really replace Yoshiko Kuga in the lead role of Teiko Uhara, or if Miki Nakatani and Tae Kimura could bring the same complexity to the roles of the women who may (or may not) hold the secret to Teiko's husband's fate. Now those questions can, if not be totally answered, then at least be partially addressed with the theatrical trailer for Inudo's "Zero Focus" which has popped up at Nippon Cinema. While there's obviously only snippets of the film to go on I don't see anything amiss, and most importantly I don't feel uncomfortable watching it; in fact Hirosue looks quite believable as innocent newlywed turned intrepid investigator. Of course I'll reserve final judgment until I get a chance to see the film, but for now head on over to Nippon Cinema to get a glimpse of what Japanese audiences will get to see in full on November 14th, the day Toho releases "Zero Focus" in theatres.
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