The review of Perfect Days, the beautiful new film by Wim Wenders in competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2023.
We open our review of Perfect Days with an awareness that mounts as we sort our thoughts: Cannes 2023 was somehow the Festival of Wim Wenders. It was because the film presented in competition is magnificent and represents a return to levels of excellence for the German director, but also because he had already amazed us in the first days of this edition of the French festival with the 3D documentary we told you about in Anselm’s review.
A lonely man at the center of the plot of Perfect Days
It’s a simple life that Hirayama leads, the absolute and only protagonist of Perfect Days. Wenders lets us follow her monotonous, repetitive days, made up of methodical work as a cleaner in Tokyo’s public toilets, but leaves room for her passions that fill her and make her unique in spite of simplicity: books, music in cassettes with a vintage flavor , the trees he photographs going around, the small details of everyday life that attract him. A man who has chosen solitude and experiences relationships with those around him and encounters with other people in an equally personal way.
The beauty of solitude
The lead actor is extraordinary Kōji Yakusho in bringing the magic of this lonely character to the screen and in conveying the beauty and elegance of his solitude. The actor’s performance is incredible, made up above all of mimicry, of serenity of movements, for a character who speaks little and hypnotizes us with his daily activities. We feel at peace with ourselves following him around a welcoming and lively Tokyo. We tune in to its same wavelength and enjoy the tranquility of an existence so in contrast with the frenzy of our lives.
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The Perfect Days by Wim Wenders
These are perfect days, i Perfect Days of the titles, the ones we see flowing placidly on the screen, accompanied by readings and meetings, photos and songs that slip out of his old cassette car radio: Van Morrison, Patti Smith, the obvious Lou Reed that the title anticipates. Wim Wenders sets up a sweet and delicate filmperfect and profound, one of the best of his career, at the level of some of his past masterpieces.
Evocative images in their simplicity, which arouse reflections on our existence in observing Hirayama’s daily life, which capture us despite the rarefied dialogues, or perhaps thanks to them. Wim Wenders, as the great master of cinema that he is, doesn’t take much to keep us glued to the screen and feed our emotions. A few hours after the award ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival we are overwhelmed and consider it one of our favorites and we would be disappointed if the greatness of the protagonist were not recognized.
Admired and excited we arrive at the end of the review of Perfect Days, the splendid film that Wim Wenders brought to competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2023. The protagonist’s performance is incredible, who holds the scene for the entire duration of the film and supports the delicate and elegant set up by the director. Getting excited and welcoming us into his world.
Because we like it
- Directed by Wim Wenders, elegant, clean, magnetic.
- The proof of the protagonist, made of mimicry and warmth.
- A Tokyo that welcomes us with its vitality.
- We struggle to find fault with a work of such brilliance, but it’s a film you have to enter to be so involved.