Though he remains almost unknown abroad, Jun Ichikawa is one of Japan's most subtle directors. Take this new film. On the surface it is a well produced, beautifully photographed study of a young woman falling in love a...展开nd learning disappointment. But, as you watch it, this surface breaks and you fall into the real world, where young people clutch their cell phones, cannot otherwise talk with each other, have been taught little and understand less, look out on life as though from a cave and have not a clue as to what is happening to them. All of this in luminous pastel colors, a score that would not be out of place in a Claude Lelouch picture and cutely inarticulate dialogue. But follow the dialogue and it gets you no further than it gets the young people. This film, like all of Ichikawa's, is not about what is shown but what is missing. The story is elsewhere — perhaps in the style, which is purposely so excessively lyrical that it comes near hysteria — as we watch the gliding camera turns to prowling. And when the girl finally laughs, it is only at a particularly stupid TV commercial. Ichikawa (who makes such commercials for a living) has again, as in the deadly quiet "Tokyo Siblings" and in the almost unbearably poignant "Dying at a Hospital," given us morality candy-colored. We smack our lips as we watch and it is only later that we taste the bitter truth. This extraordinary film was turned down by the Cannes festival. It has no designer violence, no noir horror and no "great performances" though Rena Tanaka as the girl is perfect.