To Love and to Protect

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Rin Takanashi in a scene from “Like Someone in Love.” (IFC Films)

Finding security in the guise of love is one theme taken on by Iranian master director Abbas Kiarostami in his newest project, “Like Someone in Love,” now  in a limited engagement at the Laemmle Royal Theatre, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Los Angeles.

This mysterious and beguiling romantic drama is set in Japan, which once again finds Kiarostami (“Certified Copy,” “Taste of Cherry,” “The Wind Will Carry Us”) playfully blurring the line between fiction and cinematic construct.

When Akiko (Rin Takanashi), a lovely Tokyo student who moonlights as a call girl, is dispatched to a new client in the suburbs, she is surprised to find the shy and elderly Takashi (81-year-old stage actor Tadashi Okuno, here playing his first leading role in a film), a committed academic constantly distracted by work-related phone calls. The lonely widower seems far more interested in playing house than having sex, however, and the young woman soon falls asleep.

The next day, when the two encounter Akiko’s volatile boyfriend Noriaki (Ryo Kase), Takashi plays into Noriaki’s assumption that he is actually Akiko’s grandfather. As the three settle into their new roles, Takashi finds himself becoming the protector that Akiko so desperately needs.

“Like Someone in Love” premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, and was also featured at the 2012 Toronto and New York film festivals. It was included in the 2012 AFI Fest as a World Cinema Selection.

The New York Times called the work “a film of intense visual beauty,” while The Hollywood Reporter said it is “an enchanting game of misfired passions and mistaken identities.”

“Like Someone in Love” is now showing at Laemmle’s Royal Theatre. Call (310) 478-3836 or click here for information.

Engagements at Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 in Pasadena and Laemmle’s Town Center 5 in Encino begin Feb. 22.

Visit the film’s official website here.

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