Currently Streaming on Hulu
Oh Lucy! is a story of a middle aged woman Setsuko, (Shinobu Terajima) begins taking ESL classes and ends up falling for her teacher, John (Josh Hartnett) who also happens to be her nieces boyfriend. When Mika (Shiori Kutsuna) disappears seemingly taking John with her, Setsuko heads to Los Angeles accompanied by her caring sister to track down her niece, pursue her feelings for John, and to take a chance on something that may or may not be real.
Oh Lucy!, an easy going and mostly warm film and lightheartedly told, brings the viewer deep into the reality of the human experience, particularly dealing with loss, identity, loneliness, the everyday struggle to find out what is authentic and personally sustaining to us–and love. Director Atsuko Hirayanagi does this by simply telling the story, but also allowing us to drop into Setsuko, John, and other characters by giving us intimate scenes where we learn much about the characters through body language, the misinterpretations in communication, and the characters choices in an effort to feel something more than where they currently are–and move through that process.
Oh Lucy! is a film about what its like to recreate the authentic self out of situations and feelings that may seem real to others and uncertain to us, vice versa, and the in between space of all of that mess, and making what seems real to us, a reality. Terajima plays Setsuko with a wide range and familiarity, and is able to capture so many of our feelings from humor, to sexual, from devastation, to optimism. She represents a person seeking her own truth. And we see Hartnett in a performance that shows the subtly and heart he employs in portraying characters, in a more skillful and human way than in the past, and is one of the few roles that reveal his real talent.