All About is all about the alienation and brutality of a small-town Japanese youth. Teen Hayato Ichihara has it tough--his friend is a sadistic bully and there's theft, prostitution and other bad stuff going on all around him. His only escape is through the ethereal music of a Björk-ish pop singer named Lily Chou-Chou, whom he obsessively celebrates on a fan Website.
Revealing his music-video roots, writer-director Shunji Iwai mixes imaginative images with an eclectic soundtrack, but his user-unfriendly storytelling diminishes the emotional punch, as does the onscreen chat-room banter about chanteuse Chou-Chou. At an indulgent two and a half hours, the film plays like a poetry reading that drags on too long. So, at about halfway through, you'll want to say "shoo-shoo" to Chou-Chou.
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