Back in 2012, 16-year-old Nana Komatsu was a young model and still at school. She used to travel to Tokyo on week-ends for her photoshoots and did not consider an acting career then. In 2014, much to her surprise, she was asked to audition for The World of Kanako, the next opus from famous director Tetsuya Nakashima.
She was reluctant but encouraged by relatives and friends she went to the audition. She was hired right away after a brief interview and the rest is history now. She has starred in many films since then and worked with very different directors: Takahiro Miki, Bernard Rose, Akihiko Shiota, Martin Scorsese, Hideyuki Hirayama or Akira Nagai to name just a few.
A much sought after actress and known for being extremely versatile Nana Komatsu is most certainly one of the best representatives of the ‘Old School’ approach to acting in the Japanese film industry (and beyond). When nuance and subtle body language prevail over wordiness, when emotion is conveyed through the eyes, you’re ‘old school’ but there’s more to it, Nana Komatsu does have a few add-ons: a surprising ability to suddenly embrace rage and also a playful side which comes close to eccentricity.
Some films are available on NetFlix, Amazon Prime Video, Mubi, Outbuster and other online services on a regular basis, you can get a few DVDs with English subs from Amazon USA and all the original Japanese DVDs and Blurays can be purchased from CD Japan.
The following ‘guide’ is not based on movie genres, alphabetical order or date of release but rather on her performance in each and every film. Going to the movies is like going to the restaurant somehow, also the actress has a solid reputation as a food loving person, so this presentation makes sense in many ways. Here’s the Menu right below: you’ll get appetizers only, i.e. trailers and short scenes.
⭐ = the blogmaster’s choice
Closed Ward (2019): Closed Ward aka Family Strangers is a moving and quite realistic story about friendship, support and loyalty within a small group of people isolated from society. As Yuki Shimazaki, a young outpatient in the psychiatric ward of a hospital, Nana Komatsu delivers one of her very best perfs. Most of the film she remains sort of silent like a prisoner in a cage of suffering, yet, her eyes and expressions do tell a lot. Tension gradually rises until the trial scene during which words eventually flow.Read more