As soon as I saw the programme for the Edinburgh International Film Festival there was one definite must see movie - Rentaneko! Who could resist the story of a young woman in Japan who collects cats and rents them out to lonely people? The only problem was I wasn't in Edinburgh for either the press screenings or the public screenings of the film. Luckily the good taste of the Edinburgh cinema going public saved me and got Rent-a-neko into the Best of the Fest list - which is a screening of the most popular films from the festival. So I bought my ticket as soon as they went on sale!
The idea of the film is very simple and in a sense there isn't much story - Sayoko pushes a cart full of cats along the riverside every day hoping to find people to rent them to. However the stories of the people who rent the cats are engagingly told and Sayoko is a delightfully eccentric character, though she is as lonely as any of her customers. The cats are the real stars, each with its own personality.
It's a wonderfully entertaining film about cats but also a perceptive film about the hole of loneliness in may people's lives that maybe not even a cat can fill.
Many readers of this blog, of course, may feel that this film would be even better if the cats were replaced with bunnies!
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