Cutie & The Boxer (Film Review)

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‘Cutie & The Boxer’ is an arresting documentary focusing on the life of struggling artist, Noriko Shinohara, As she seeks an identity of her own after 40 years of marriage to famous boxing artist Ushio Shinohara.

It’s an observationally, maybe even voyeristically shot portrait looking at the highs and lows in the marriage of these bohemians, ¬†The camera and the direction is defiantly the third member of the relationship here.¬†Heinzerling’s direction is a constantly guiding presence in the film, but has the good grace not to make itself the star. It knows it’s place and allows the duo at the centre to shine through.

‘Cutie & The Boxer’ is an engaging, heartfelt little film. In many ways, It’s the perfect mirror for it’s subjects, in that it’s quirkiness and left-of-centre aesthetic, whilst being critically lauded, is maybe a little too eccentric to ever be adopted by mainstream tastemakers. It’s ceartinly not for everyone’s tastes, but those who find a little bit of themselves in Noriko and Ushio will find this nourishing and soulfull.

That said, there’s alot to celebrate here. It’s the prefect way to spend a couple of hours, and an almost textbook piece for any artist wanting to battle the odds for cultural relevancy.

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