Sunday, September 4, 2011


"Littlerock" takes place not in Arkansas but in the Antelope County freeway town of Littlerock, CA, population 1377, where a Japanese brother and sister stop on their way to Manzanar and San Francisco and stay a bit longer than expected. Unfortunately, it's more "South of Reno" than "Bagdad Cafe," as the sister speaks no English, meaning we get endless scenes of mutual incomprehension.

That's fine if your lead actress has a face capable of registering a range of emotions, but Atsuko Okatsuka remains a blank slate to all but fetishists. At times cringe-inducingly amateurish, the film treats the lead male character shabbily, showing him in several unflattering lights before going for cheap, unearned pathos at the very end.

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