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If there's an adaptation that should make for an enticing and lyrically beautiful film, it's Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood. The novel is named after a great Beatles song, follows a post-suicide star-crossed attraction, is set on the landscape of 1960s Japan, and is rife with melancholia and detachment. Nevertheless, things like this always rely on those who make it come to life, and after this latest bit of news, there shouldn't be any cause for worry. Sweet relief!

Variety reports that Tran Ang Hung's project will star Kenichi Matsuyama as Toru, Rinko Kikuchi as Naoko, and model Kiko Mizuhara as Midori. The New York Times review is the best way to get an idea about the plot, but briefly: A man named Toru hears "Norwegian Wood," which sends him back to memories of his life in the '60s. As a teen, he was best friends with a couple, Naoko and Kizuki. Kizuki killed himself, leaving the remaining pair damaged and struggling. They fall in love, but Naoko still struggles and goes to a sanitarium to try and work through her pain. Meanwhile, Toru meets another, Midori, who is the light to Naoko's darkness, and feels torn between them.

It's about time Kikuchi got a more prominent role. Her work in Babel and The Brothers Bloom was excellent but painfully brief, and it'll be nice to see her take a central role that can let her talents run wild.

Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until at least the Fall of 2010 to see for ourselves.

Filed under: Drama, Foreign Language, Casting

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