Hirokazu Kore-eda is probably my favorite contemporary Japanese director, but I have resisted watching Air Doll (2009) because it seemed like a silly film-a sex doll comes alive. But I should have known with a director like Kore-eda it's wouldn't be exploitative-in fact it was a poignant meditation on the preciousness of life. It also has the idea of finding the beautiful in the mundane that reminds me of American Beauty, much like the subplot of the showing the quiet lives of desperation lived by many people in the city. Bae Doona (Linda Linda Linda), feels right for the role since she is an outsider in the fact that she is Korean. She inhibits the erotic role of the surrogate sex doll with an innocence that feels appropriate for the film-it never feels exploitative, but natural. The film has a different visual look than the usual Kore-eda film which is due to the fact that his cinematographer for this film was Ping Bin Lee (In the Mood for Love). It's nice to be surprised in a good way on occasion.