2015 (MIFF 2016, Accent on Asia)

Director: Ryûsuke Hamaguchi


"A strange film that calls to mind both Out 1 [MIFF 2014] and Sex and the City ... Happy Hour is a fascinating anomaly." – Cinema Scope

As 30-something friends Jun, Akari, Sakurako and Fumi attempt to navigate the quotidian vicissitudes of daily lives dominated by unsatisfying marriages and demanding careers, an unexpected revelation will expose the schisms in their relationships with each other, and with themselves.

Collecting a Special Mention at Locarno for its script, along with the Best Actress award shared collectively between its four naturalistic leads (Rira Kawamura, Sachie Tanaka, Hazuki Kikuchi and Maiko Mihara, all debuting), Ryûsuke Hamaguchi's finely observed Happy Hour is a joyfully discursive cinematic journey. Far from forbidding, its five hours fly by as Hamaguchi allows conversations and creative digressions – notably two events at Fumi's art gallery: a conceptual movement workshop and a literary reading, both followed by elaborate discussions with each artist – to roll out in near real-time, patiently building a remarkably warm and textured emotional portrait of contemporary womanhood.

With echoes of Rivette and Rohmer, Ozu and Kore-eda, Happy Hour is a gracefully charming, novelistic drama generous in all senses of the word.

"Happy Hour creates an emotionally and psychologically intimate but geometrically ambitious constellation of relations and interactions." – MUBI Notebook

See also...


Poetic and dreamlike, the beguiling debut from one of China's most innovative young directors explores the mysteries of time and memory. ... Hailed as Best Emerging Director at Locarno, 26-year-old Ch... More »


"A mesmerizing slow burn of a martial-arts movie." – Variety ... In ninth-century China, 10-year-old Nie Yinniang (Shu Qi) is stolen away from her father, trained to become an assassin, and tasked wit... More »


"Like dreaming with your eyes wide open." – Hollywood Reporter ... Lonely housewife Jenjira volunteers at a makeshift hospital for soldiers suffering from a mysterious bout of narcolepsy. When one of ... More »


Horror master Kiyoshi Kurosawa turns lost love into a measured, melancholy ghost story. ... Three years after losing her husband at sea and presuming him drowned and dead, grief-stricken piano teacher... More »


"[Director] Min Bahadur Bham films with a neorealist touch, reminiscent of the best Abbas Kiarostami." – El Antepenúltimo Mohicano ... A shaky, temporary ceasefire exists in a small town in war-torn N... More »


"A deep, philosophical and spiritual slice of life film, seen with a good dash of humour." – First Post ... When a person dies in the south of India, a thithi memorial ceremony is held 11 days later. ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director