Cutie and the Boxer - 8 stars out of 10
There is more to "Cutie and the Boxer" than meets the eye. This Oscar-nominated look into the world of modern art is a classic story about the woman behind the man and, even more importantly, it is a story of love and devotion. The turbulent 40-year marriage of Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko, has been as unpredictable as Ushio’s avant-garde artwork. The film chronicles the artwork of Ushio, from his famous “boxing painting” to his cardboard motorcycle sculptures. However, this is actually the story of his wife who sacrificed her own artistic dreams to support and take care of Ushio. The story is told through Noriko’s “Cutie and the Bullie” drawings, an autobiographical series of drawings that depict Noriko’s frustrating life and her desire to break free from her husband’s shadow. Consequently, these drawings lead to the exhibition that will help Ushio to establish a new artistic identity and allow Noriko to finally be her own artist. It is fascinating to see the poverty that some artists must endure for the sake of their artwork and the emotional toll that it can take. It is interesting to see the meaning that scholars can put into a piece of modern art that actually does not have any meaning at all. I know that this is not the intent of the film but it was surprising to see the artist complete a work, ask “What is it,” and then have another person in the room assign the piece’s meaning to it. Whether this type of artwork is your thing or not, this film is relatable to artists of any discipline. It chronicles the sacrifices and suffering that artists sometimes endure to bring their art to fruition, but most importantly paints a picture of love that endures through the hardship of marriage. Once you hear Noriko’s analogy to two flowers growing in one plot, you will surely love this movie.