Norwegian Wood

Synopsis: Upon hearing the song "Norwegian Wood," Toru (Matsuyama) remembers back to his life in the 1960s, when his friend Kizuki killed himself and he grew close to Naoko, Kizuki's girlfriend. As the two try, in very different ways, to contend with their grief, Toru forms a bond with another woman, Midori.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Tran Anh Hung
Production: Independent Pictures
  4 wins & 8 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
133 min

Hey, give it.

Naoko and Kizuki had been close

almost from birth.

Because Kizuki was my best friend,

the three of us did things together.

I lost. I'll pay for the game.

After Kizuki died,

there was a vague knot of air inside me.

I wanted to get away

from this town.

I wanted to begin a new life

where I didn't know a soul,

and forget everything.

The chain reaction

of unrequited love,

and its tragic consequences

is the core of the story of Andromache.

We want permission to use

the remaining time to debate this.

The world is drowning in problems

more profound than Greek tragedy.

I can't imagine anything is more

profound than Greek tragedy,

but suit yourselves.

For a while after I moved to Tokyo,

reading was all that mattered to me.

My life felt like it was on hold,

as empty as the margins

of the books I read so avidly.

That's 1,900 Yen.

Watanabe, it's already 6:30 am.

Instead of staying up all night reading,

why don't you go to bed early

and just get up and

exercise with me?


Is it true you've slept

with a hundred girls?

Don't exaggerate.

More like 70, at the most.

I've only slept with one.

Come with me next time.

Don't worry, it's easy.

I had a definite interest in

the strange, complex aspects,

of Nagasawa's nature,

along with his sophistication.

Excuse me.

Life is too short.

Don't waste valuable time reading,

any book that has not had

the baptism of time.

Shall we make a toast?

He was both a spirit

of amazing nobility

and an irredeemably materialistic man.

I... I was sitting over there.

What are you doing in Tokyo?

What am I doing?

Let's walk a little.

Have you been well?

You don't talk much.

I can't say what I want to say well.


Don't worry.

I don't talk much, either.

Where are we?


We made this big circle.

You're really tough.



Can I call you?

This Saturday?

Of course.

Every Sunday,

we met and walked,

walking with no destination

in mind.

As if walking were a religious ritual

to heal our wounded spirits.

We continued to avoid

any mention of the past.

Certainly, Kizuki's name,

never came up

in our conversations.

Can I look?

You can look.

It's cute.


Oh, sorry.

Wait just a minute.


Go ahead.

For you.

For me?


Thank you.

You're welcome.

Can I open it?

Of course.

I don't know.

It's stupid being 20.

I'm just not ready.

It feels weird.

Like somebody's pushing me

from behind.

I've got seven months to get ready.

I'll take my time.

You're so lucky, still being 19.

I think that people

should just go back and forth

between 18 and 19.

Go to 19 when 18 is over,

and back to 18 when 19 is over.

That way...

.. things would be easier...

Is this your first time?

You didn't sleep with Kizuki? Why?

I'm sorry.

I shouldn't have asked.

I'm sorry. I have to go.

Will you call me again?

When her apartment manager

told me Naoko had moved,

I was stunned.

I wrote her a long letter and

sent it to her home in Kobe.

Wherever she was,

I was certain they would

forward it to her.

On your birthday,

I probably should not

have done what I did.

What I felt for you

was something I never

experienced before.

I need you to answer me.

At least let me know

whether I've hurt you or not.


Trim your nose hair.

It's really dirty.

You know we're late.

I know. So what?

Hurry up. You're such trouble.

Hatsumi had a pretty good idea

that Nagasawa was sleeping around.

But she never

complained to him.

She was seriously

in love with him,

but she never made any demands.

Want to find some girls tonight?

Sure, let's go get them.

What the hell was that?


Yes, the elbow is

the least sensitive part of the body.

Hm, is that so?

Do your best. See you someday.

Please forgive me for not

answering sooner.

It took me a very long time

to be in any condition to write.

For now, I am not

prepared to see you.

After I moved out of my apartment,

I came back to my family's house

in Kobe and saw a doctor for a while.

He tells me

there is a place in the hills outside

Kyoto that would be perfect for me,

and I'm thinking of spending

a little time there.

I feel grateful in my own way

for the companionship you gave me.

Please believe that much.

You are not the one

who hurt me.

I myself am the one who did that.

This is how I truly feel.

- You're Watanabe, right?

- Yeah.

Mind if I sit down?

Are you expecting someone?

Nobody's coming, please.

Have we met?


We just finished class, right?

Was your hair down to here

before summer break?

But over the summer...

Let me see your profile.

It looks good on you.

You really think so?


Hey, you're not a liar, are you?

I like to think of myself as honest.

Are you suntanned?

I spent the last couple of weeks

hiking around.



Do you always travel alone?

Yes, I do.

You enjoy solitude?

Nobody likes being alone that much.

I just don't go out of my way

to make friends.

It just leads to disappointment.

You can use that line if you

ever write your autobiography.

Are you teasing?

I love the way you talk.

My name's Midori.

Take your sunglasses off.

My eyes are tired today.

Lack of sleep?

A little.

Sorry I forgot about our lunch.

Did you wait there long?

It doesn't matter

I've got time on my hands.

A lot?

I wish I could give you some

to help you sleep.

That's sweet.

Come in!



Hello. For you.

Thank you.

I'll water it.

Am I too early?

It's fine.

Hey, you have a bookshop downstairs.

It's been our bookshop

for thousands of years.

I'm glad you're enjoying

my cooking.

This is great.

You weren't expecting

much, were you,

judging from my looks?

So, your family's out today?

My mother's in her grave.

My sister's out driving

with her fianc.

And then there's my father.

He went to Uruguay

in June of last year.

- Uruguay?

- Yes.

An old army buddy of his

has a farm there.

Suddenly he said he could make it there

and took off alone to Uruguay.

I see.

I'm sure losing his wife

was a real shock to him.

He told us, "I'm so angry.

"I would much rather have

lost the two of you than her. "

He did?

We were stupefied, speechless.

Still, it is wonderful for two people

to love each other that much.

Have you heard from him?

One postcard, in March.

But he didn't tell us much.

A postcard of a stupid donkey.

Give me a break!

I always thought, of course I'd be sad

if my parents died or went away.

But when it happened,

I felt nothing.

I don't feel sad or feel abandoned

or in any pain.

Do you think you weren't

loved very much?

Not enough.

Just once, I wanted to know

what it's like to get my fill of love.

What is love to you?

Let's say, I tell you I want to eat

strawberry shortcake,

and you drop everything

and run out and buy it for me.

And you come back out of breath and

give me the strawberry shortcake.

And I say,

"I don't want it any more,"

and I throw it out the window.

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Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami (村上 春樹, Murakami Haruki, born January 12, 1949) is a Japanese writer. His books and stories have been bestsellers in Japan as well as internationally, with his work being translated into 50 languages and selling millions of copies outside his native country. The critical acclaim for his fiction and non-fiction has led to numerous awards, in Japan and internationally, including the World Fantasy Award (2006) and the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award (2006). His oeuvre received, for example, the Franz Kafka Prize (2006) and the Jerusalem Prize (2009). Murakami's most notable works include A Wild Sheep Chase (1982), Norwegian Wood (1987), The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994–95), Kafka on the Shore (2002), and 1Q84 (2009–10). He has also translated into Japanese English works by writers ranging from Raymond Carver to J. D. Salinger. His fiction, still criticized by Japan's literary establishment as un-Japanese, was influenced by Western writers from Chandler to Vonnegut by way of Brautigan. It is frequently surrealistic and melancholic or fatalistic, marked by a Kafkaesque rendition of the "recurrent themes of alienation and loneliness" he weaves into his narratives. Steven Poole of The Guardian praised Murakami as "among the world's greatest living novelists" for his works and achievements. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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