‘Oh Lucy!’ Goes Dark Before the Light Comes in Again

Woman Who’s Comes Apart Looks for Way Back to Normality

Never mind the seemingly innocent, bubbly air of the title, as if the film is a Japanese spin-off of I Love Lucy. It’s not. Writer-director Atsuko Hirayanagi’s comedy about a mid-life Tokyo woman who goes to California and back goes dark, and darker, before the light comes in again. One of the best and most refreshingly non-formulaic films seen at this year’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Oh Lucy! follows the late-breaking adventures of orderly office worker, Setsuko (Shinobu Terajima), as she is lured away from the mundanity of her life in search of renewal when her dubious American English teacher heads to the States her West-leaning niece. Terajima gives an outstanding and sometimes aptly enigmatic, hard-to-comprehend performance, creating a portrait of a woman coming apart and looking for a way back into normality that has suddenly morphed into a new set of norms.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

City Outlines New Homeless Plan After Scrapping ‘Tiny Home’ Idea

$2 million in state funds will now go to Cottage, police, and a street outreach team.

The Migrant Caravan and Central American History

Understanding the migrant caravan requires an awareness of Central America's recent history, social scientists say.

Procore Technology Valued at $3 Billion

New financing boost of $75 million ups construction software company.

Rescue Mission Plans Annual Feast and Giveaway

December 20 event celebrates the holidays and provides warm clothing.

Volunteers Canvas Montecito’s ‘Red Zones’

Door-to-door outreach delivers storm-readiness info.