Those dying to see Sion Sono’s follow-up to his 2002 horror hit, Suicide Club,
be warned: This meditation on loneliness and the definition of family
is a lot less bloody—though no less fascinating—than its predecessor.
Small-town teen Noriko (Fukiishi) flees to Tokyo in search of adventure
and an online gal pal named Ueno54 (Tsugumi). Noriko immediately
becomes part of Ueno54’s troupe of rentable family members, playing at
being the daughter of strangers as the real-life clan she left behind
falls apart. Although certain aspects of Sono’s opus may get lost in
translation, you don’t need to know Japanese to understand the pitfalls
of contemporary communication.