Busan International Film Festival 1998
Toronto International Film Festival 1998
Kaori Fuji, Takako Matsu, Seiichi Tanabe
Rockwell Eyes Inc.
Uzuki Nireno (Takako Matsu), a shy girl from the countryside of northern Hokkaido, is heading to the big city for university. Settling into a new, exciting life, she comes to admit to herself that she might have ulterior motives in determining her choice of university: what if she came to Tokyo chasing a crush? To be near a boy, whom she fell in love with, before he moved away to work at a bookstore? What then? Like FIREWORKS, APRIL STORY is a remarkable example of Iwai’s talent as a chronicler of youthful experiences, here moving on from elementary school to tackle the momentous transition between high school and university – the first taste for complete independence, the shaping of identity, the new friendships and discoveries, the particular texture of light in a new apartment – with great pathos and an irresistible nostalgia. Featuring one of the all-time great umbrella scenes in the history of the medium and a joyful, magnetic performance from pop star Takako Matsu, APRIL STORY is an Iwai classic. – Ariel Esteban Cayer