Not quite in the same league as Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Nobody Knows
, this earnest, humorless, contemporary parable shows what happens when an inflatable sex doll (Korea’s Bae Doo-na) owned by a meek Tokyo bachelor (Itsuji Itao) magically comes to life and tries to navigate her way through the kind of urban interpersonal relations that even the full-fledged humans around her find difficult. Director Kore-eda’s screenplay, adapted from a manga by Yoshiie Goda, has Nozomi the air doll imploring the heavens a little too often. It’s a dreary, maudlin, middlebrow allegory when a more of a bawdy satire is called for. Even Pinocchio knew when to poke fun at its little wooden head (125 min.).