By Chris Nashawaty
Updated March 12, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT
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Credit: Sean Porter

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

type
  • Movie

The Coen brothers’ bruise-black comedy Fargo resonated with millions of people. But it’s safe to say that none of them have parsed it with the same Talmudic scrutiny as a mousy Tokyo office worker named Kumiko. Played with a haunting air of melancholy by Rinko Kikuchi (Babel), Kumiko leads a sad, quiet life with few friends beyond her pet rabbit. Her job is soul-sucking and her mother constantly asks her why she’s not married yet. The answer may be that she’s too obsessed with the idea of going to Fargo and digging up the briefcase of cash that Steve Buscemi buried in the Coens’ film. Dissecting the scene has convinced her that she can pinpoint its location. When she finally embarks on her spiritual quest, armed with a needlepoint treasure map and a red hooded sweatshirt that makes her look like a garden gnome, the film blossoms from an oddball intrigue into something more profound. Is Kumiko simply naive, or is she mentally ill? The film’s perfect ending doesn’t try to solve that riddle, but it will make you feel as if you’ve just seen something hypnotically original. B+

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

2015 movie
type
  • Movie
mpaa
runtime
  • 105 minutes
director
  • David Zellner

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