Eri Fukatsu leads next Koki Mitani film

Director Koki Mitani (“The Uchoten Hotel,” “The Magic Hour”) is working on a new film, starring actress Eri Fukatsu (37). Titled “Suteki na Kanashibari,” the movie is a “courtroom comedy” that Mitani first conceived more than a decade ago.

Like Mitani’s previous hits, “Suteki na Kanashibari” features a star-studded cast, including Toshiyuki Nishida (62), Yuko Takeuchi (30), Kiichi Nakai (48), Hiroshi Abe (45), and Tadanobu Asano (36).

Emi (Fukatsu) is a third-rate lawyer with no prospects for the future. She is asked to defend a man suspected of killing a wealthy man’s wife (Takeuchi). The man claims that on the night of the murder, he experienced sleep paralysis (“kanashibari”) in his hotel room, apparently caused by the ghost of a dishonored warrior (Nishida) who died 421 years ago. To support the claim in court, Emi comes up with the ridiculous idea of having the ghost take the witness stand. In addition to playing the victim, Takeuchi also plays her twin sister, who is the actual culprit.

“Suteki na Kanashibari” is scheduled for release in fall 2011.

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