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Sumida, a young man confined to a wheelchair, drinks his life away in alcoholic splendor with his friend, Take. He is unable to speak, except through an electronic voice box. He is the object of pity among his friends and disgusting to those who don t know him. When a young girl temporarily becomes his caregiver to fulfill a school assignment, he mistakes her harmless flirtation for love. Her rejection of him sends him on a downward spiral of anger and revenge.
Set against a background of aggressively experimental music, LATE BLOOMER breaks the taboos of characterization and builds a potent atmosphere of dread and unease.
There's no greater cinematic pleasure than watching a masterful filmmaker pull the rug out from the audience, but with Late Bloomer, director Go Shibata practically pulls out the entire floor... Late Bloomer is the only film that will have you entering the theater thinking of My Left Foot and leaving it thinking of Taxi Driver. One for the brave. --Travis Crawford, Philadelphia Film Festival
***1/2 --Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Weird, wicked and wonderfully perverse . . . . --The New York Times