Werner Herzog’s Strangest Movie in Years Is Japanese Drama ‘Family Romance, LLC’ — Cannes

Werner Herzog’s Strangest Movie in Years Is Japanese Drama ‘Family Romance, LLC’ — Cannes
For most of his career, Werner Herzog has oscillated between narrative and documentary features, injecting his idiosyncratic worldview into both of them. With the odd microbudget “Family Romance, LLC,” he brings those two modes together for his strangest movie of the decade, and that’s saying something for a guy whose 3D documentary on cave paintings ended with albino alligators.

A scrappy drama shot on the fly during a stopover in Japan, Herzog’s minor-key story revolves around Japan’s bizarre rent-a-family business, a concept so Herzogian it’s a wonder the filmmaker didn’t dream it up on his own. While the movie’s rough production values and meandering plot never quite gel, “Family Romance, LLC” is a fascinating convergence of filmmaker and subject, providing the rare opportunity for Herzog to bury his observations in the material at hand.

To some degree, however, the movie is a hybrid narrative
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