A Bride for Rip Van Winkle
This devastating portrait of loneliness by Iwai Shunji follows young Nanami, who recruits online strangers to act as her friends and family at her wedding. Deeply melancholic, this understated epic is a portrait of a resilient faith in humanity amid surrounding deception.
Nanami is an introverted teacher with a sweet voice. On her blog, she writes under a pseudonym about how she met Tetsuya in her hometown of Tokyo with one mouse click. Later she will marry and then divorce him. While setting the table in preparation for the wedding, it becomes obvious that Nanami has a small family. Ashamed, she hires the actor Yukimasu and his colleagues to fill the empty chairs during the ceremony.
Later these scenes are repeated, but then with Nanami herself acting the part of a relative. After this, the question keeps returning: are the people in Nanami’s life (only) playing a role? This is a metaphor for today’s Japan, where on the internet you can temporarily assume a more exuberant role. In this moving mystery story with surprising turns, Nanami ends up in the role of a maid servant in the house of the actress Mashiro, with whom she builds a special bond in their joint battle against loneliness.