I’ve seen my share of Japanese movies set partly or wholly in the United States. With a few exceptions, the filmmakers only skim the exotic surface, while the Japanese characters never become more than fish out of water gasping for a breath of the familiar, be it instant noodles or spoken Japanese.

Based on her prize-winning MFA thesis short, Atsuko Hirayanagi’s “Oh Lucy!” premiered in the 2017 Cannes Critics’ Week section and screened at many other overseas festivals before finally arriving on screens here.

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