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Admittedly lovely and heartfelt, Norwegian Wood is also hollow.
Even if this Haruki Murakami adaptation amounts to a gorgeous but lethargic emo ballad, there's no denying the stately lyricism of its melancholy.
Murakami's 'unadaptability' for the screen is self-evident to fans of his books, but this is a noble if bleak first stab.
As a chronicle of grief and passion, however, the film is perilously close to being an exercise in tactile but touchy-feely passive-aggression.
The Hollywood Reporter
The fact that Norwegian Wood is based on Haruki Murakami's 1987 international best-seller should encourage many viewers to give this long, elegantly shot, sporadically involving Japanese film a try.
New York Daily News
Fans of the book may resist the efforts of director Tran Anh Hung ("The Scent of Green Papaya"), simply because it would be impossible to capture the essence of Murakami's prose. But this exquisitely filmed, often haunting tragedy is worth taking on its own terms.
The A.V. Club
Tran's visual precision is betrayed by his jumbled script, which fails to impose a cinematic structure on the source material.
Lovely but listless.
The New York Times
The film has the loose narrative structure of a quasi-poetic personal journal that is more a series of reflections than a cohesive story.
Despite Hung's obvious gifts as a filmmaker, he has ditched this raw immediacy in favor of a drifty, overstuffed, ultimately dull melodrama.
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