Just now finished watching Takeshi Kitano's Dolls.
I'm not sure what there is I can say.
It's one of the most beautiful, deep, and meditative films I've ever seen. I'll enjoy coming back to it over the years, finding what new layers present themselves as time goes by. A cursory overview of reviews around the net immediately demonstrate that the film is layered and reflective: the deeper you dig, the more you can find what you're looking for.
For now? It's a Joycean film about love and solitude. About fate and choice. About one's inability to leave behind the connections to those you love: no matter how hard you may try.
From Roger Ebert's review:
The film is about three people who have unhappiness forced upon them, and three others who choose it.
I understand precisely what he's getting at here, and yet I think it oversimplifies the issue. Right here, right now, to me the movie forces me to think about what choices each of the characters have made. In a universe with agency, all of the characters ultimately chose their fate. In a universe that finds it lacking? They're all ultimately bunraku dolls.
Five stars, easily earned by default in any of several categories.