Sandy, a geologist, finds herself stuck on a field trip to the Pilbara desert with a Japanese man she finds inscrutable, annoying and decidedly arrogant. Hiromitsu’s view of her is not much better. Things go from bad to worse when they become stranded in one of the remotest regions on earth. Japanese Story is a journey of change and discovery for its two lead characters. –Cannes Film Festival
The film is less about the relationship than it is about a sense of place, both literally (the breathtaking Australian outback) and in an existentialist way (how the place encapsulates and instigates the characters' transformations). The incessant, brooding music in the last act and seemingly inescapable stereotypes about the Japanese prevent this from being great, but Collette is such a delight to watch.