• Director-Screenwriter

    Mamoru Hosoda

  • Producers

    Yuichiro Saito, Genki Kawamura, Nozomu Takahashi, Toshimi Tanio

  • With

    Kaho Nakamura, Shōta Sometani, Takeru Satoh

  • Japan 2021. 121min

  • UK Distribution

    Anime Limited

  • Language

    Japanese

    With English subtitles

High-school student Suzu finds everyday social conventions difficult to deal with and is increasingly drawn into an alternative, virtual world via the U app – an Internet-based environment with five billion members. Here, she excels as singing megastar Belle; her alter-ego even providing her with a confidence boost in reality. U allows people like Suzu, who battles to cope with the loss of her mother, to find some sanctuary from the pain and struggles of their real lives. Yet, within its atmosphere of beauty and wonder, an underlying danger surfaces. Belle/Suzu’s life becomes entwined with a disruptive presence known as the ‘Dragon’, as she recognises that behind this threatening façade someone pained is crying out for help. Belle is another triumph for LFF favourite Hosoda (Mirai, LFF 2018). It’s a captivating, magical voyage and an insightful snapshot of how technology has transformed all our lives.

Justin Johnson

You may also enjoy

The Crossing

This groundbreaking animation, using oil paint on glass, follows two youngsters who flee for their national border when they find themselves in danger.

Read more

Encounter

Riz Ahmed stars as a father on a mission to save his sons in Michael Pearce’s hotly-anticipated follow up to his acclaimed debut Beast.

Read more

Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest

A warm, philosophical yet truly quirky portrait of friendship between unconventional heroes within the magical world of arcade gaming and record-breaking endeavours.

Read more