Cutie and the Boxer (Movie)

2 Min Read
Title — Cutie and the Boxer
Available on — VUDU Free, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Hulu
Production Country — United States
Release Date — 2013
A 2014 Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Feature, this film explores the symbiotic relationship of artists Ushio and Noriko Shinohara.

🪶 Story & Synopsis

“Cutie and the Boxer” is a captivating documentary directed by Zachary Heinzerling that delves into the tumultuous 40-year marriage of two artists, Noriko and Ushio Shinohara. The film provides an intimate look into their daily lives, showcasing their struggles, passions, and creative processes.

Noriko, portrayed as Cutie, embarks on a journey to find her own identity after four decades of being in the shadow of her famous boxing artist husband, Ushio, known as the Boxer. The documentary beautifully captures the complexities of their relationship as they navigate through love, resentment, and the challenges of pursuing art in New York City.

Heinzerling skillfully incorporates personal photos, footage from the Shinoharas’s own films, and snippets from a promotional movie about Ushio’s early artistry, providing a rich tapestry of their lives. The couple’s dynamic is raw and authentic, with moments of tenderness juxtaposed with outbursts of frustration and tension.

Throughout the film, Noriko’s quest for self-discovery and creative fulfillment unfolds, offering a poignant exploration of marriage, art, and individuality. The audience is taken on a poignant journey as Noriko strives to break free from the confines of her role as a supporting wife and emerge as an artist in her own right.

“Cutie and the Boxer” is a deeply human story that resonates with viewers, inviting them to reflect on the complexities of relationships, artistic expression, and the pursuit of personal fulfillment. Noriko and Ushio’s journey is a testament to the enduring power of love, resilience, and the transformative nature of art.

🧑 Cast & Crew

Noriko Shinohara, Ushio Shinohara

Actor Role
Ushio Shinohara Himself
Noriko Shinohara Herself
Alex Shinohara
Ethan Cohen
Benjamin Thys

💬 Reviews and feedback

Hey there, movie buffs! Ready to step into the ring with a unique love story that packs a punch? Well, get your popcorn ready because we’re diving into the vibrant world of “Cutie and the Boxer.”

In this captivating documentary, we are invited into the chaotic yet endearing 40-year marriage of renowned boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko. It’s not your typical love story; it’s filled with love-hate dynamics, resentment, and a whole lot of heart.

The film beautifully captures the essence of a long-lasting relationship, showcasing the ups and downs of marriage in a raw and unfiltered manner. Through the lens of Ushio and Noriko Shinohara’s lives, we witness the complexities of love, sacrifice, and artistic passion.

Plot and Themes:

  • The documentary delves deep into the bohemian lifestyle of the Shinoharas, highlighting their struggles as artists living in New York City.
  • It explores themes of resilience, creativity, and the enduring bond between two individuals who have weathered life’s storms together.

As we follow their journey through personal and financial challenges, we are reminded that true love transcends obstacles and shines through even in the darkest moments.

Acting and Characters:

  • Ushio Shinohara’s larger-than-life personality leaps off the screen with his colorful artwork and dynamic presence.
  • Noriko Shinohara steals our hearts with her quiet strength and unwavering support for her husband’s artistic endeavors.

The authenticity of their emotions is palpable, drawing us into their world and making us root for this unconventional couple as they navigate life’s uncertainties together.

Direction and Cinematography:

  • Zachary Heinzerling’s direction brings an intimate touch to the film, allowing us to witness the couple’s everyday struggles up close.
  • The cinematography captures both the chaos and beauty of their lives with stunning visuals that evoke a sense of nostalgia and longing.

This fly-on-the-wall approach immerses us in the Shinoharas’ world, making us feel like silent observers witnessing a deeply personal story unfold before our eyes.

Score and Production Design:

  • The score complements the emotional journey of the characters, enhancing key moments with its evocative melodies.
  • The production design reflects the eclectic nature of Ushio’s artwork while creating a cozy backdrop for intimate conversations between the couple.

Every element works harmoniously to create an immersive experience that tugs at our heartstrings and leaves a lasting impression long after the credits roll.

Binge-watching Tips:

If you’re looking for a refreshing take on love stories that goes beyond clichés, “Cutie and the Boxer” is your perfect pick. Grab some tissues (just in case) and immerse yourself in this heartfelt journey of artistry, resilience, and enduring love!

So what are you waiting for? Step into this artistic ring of emotions where every brushstroke tells a story worth watching!

Rating: 9/10

Remember: In life as in art, sometimes it’s not about winning or losing but about how gracefully you dance in between. Cheers to love that paints our lives with vibrant hues!

Pros Cons
Fascinating portrayal of a long-lasting marriage May feel slow-paced for some viewers
Realistic depiction of love-hate and resentment in relationships Some scenes might be emotionally intense
Beautifully shot and intimate Not a conventional love story
Offers insights into the world of struggling artists Focus on personal and financial struggles may be heavy
Captivating exploration of long-term relationships Minimal action or plot twists


  • Cutie and the Boxer (2013) - IMDb

    Zachary Heinzerling’s documentary Cutie and the Boxer is not a film primarily about age, although it invokes thoughts about aging. It’s a film about the relationship between a husband and a wife and the sacrifices it takes to dedicate your life to someone else. Back when they first met, Ushio was already a prominent avant garde artist, having made an impact in Japan and rubbing shoulders with people like Andy Warhol in New York. He was most famous for his boxing paintings. To create these pieces of art Ushio dresses himself up very much like a boxer, including strapping on boxing gloves with sponges dipped in paint. He then energetically punches a large canvas as he moves from right to left. The experience of creating these paintings, which takes only a couple of minutes, epitomizes who Ushio is and how he sees himself as an artist. He appreciates characteristics like power, energy, spontaneity, and movement. Also famous for his motorcycle and dinosaur sculptures, he likes to name his exhibits with words like “Vroom!!” and “Roaarrr!”

  • Cutie and the Boxer - Wikipedia

    it lacks sufficient corresponding inline citations.(September 2013)

    Cutie and the Boxeris a 2013 American documentary film produced, shot, and directed by Zachary Heinzerling. The film focuses on the chaotic 40-year marriage of two artists, Noriko Shinohara and her husband the boxing painter Ushio, featuring original artwork by the couple. Heinzerling said of the couple: “When I first met [the Shinoharas], I was just struck by the raw spirit and beauty that emanates from their faces, their lifestyle, their art, everything about them has so much purpose and character. Even if you don’t speak Japanese, even if you have no previous knowledge of their artwork or who they are, you’re immediately captivated by their presence. They live in a world that’s kind of a time warp that hearkens back to the ‘70s New York SoHo art scene that is sort of canonized in history, certainly from my point of view.”

  • Cutie and the Boxer movie review (2013) | Roger Ebert

    Now streaming on:”Cutie and the Boxer,” like all truly noteworthy films, takes you by surprise with its unexpected twists and revelations. It’s a documentary about painting, but evocative music moves it along. It’s a film about a long-lasting marriage, yet also a love story filled with love-hate and resentment. Most of all, it’s about creativity, and not just the standard “artists struggling” theme, though that’s surely there. Art is a demon which can take over your life, says one of the film’s subjects, artist Ushio Shinohara.

  • Cutie and the Boxer | Rotten Tomatoes

    A beautifully-made documentary that explores the challenges and richness of both marriage and art through the lens of a fascinating and complex couple.Read Critics Reviews

    Cutie and the BoxerWhere to WatchCutie and the Boxer

    Rent Cutie and the Boxer on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, or buy it on Fandango at Home, Prime Video.

    What to KnowCritics ReviewsAudience ReviewsMy RatingCast & Crew

    Zachary HeinzerlingDirectorNoriko ShinoharaActorZachary HeinzerlingWriterKiki MiyakeExecutive ProducerPatrick BurnsProducerLydia Dean PilcherProducer

⚠️ Explanation (Spoiler)

In “Cutie and the Boxer,” viewers are taken on a captivating journey through the lives of artist Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko, as they navigate the complexities of their long-lasting marriage and artistic pursuits. The documentary beautifully captures the essence of their relationship, filled with love, resentment, and the ever-present struggle for survival in the art world.

Ushio Shinohara, a renowned “pugilist artist,” is known for his unique “action paintings” created by bashing huge canvases with paint-coated boxing gloves. Despite being 80 years old, he continues to push the boundaries of his art in their loft in Brooklyn. Noriko, 21 years his junior, came to New York from Japan to study art, eventually meeting Ushio and falling in love. She sacrificed her own artistic dreams to support Ushio as his assistant, cook, and mother to their son.

The film delves into the dynamic between the couple, showcasing Noriko’s journey of rediscovering her artistic voice through her series of drawings titled “Cutie and Bullie,” inspired by their life together. As Noriko reflects on their struggles and the sacrifices she made for their family, she gains a new perspective on their relationship and the role of adversity in shaping her art.

Director Zachary Heinzerling skillfully weaves together personal footage, photos, and archival material to provide a glimpse into Ushio’s early years as an artist and his rise to prominence in the Soho art scene of the 1960s and ’70s. The documentary captures intimate moments of the couple’s daily life, showcasing their raw honesty and occasional conflicts, which add depth to their story.

Despite the challenges they face, including financial difficulties and Ushio’s sometimes abrasive demeanor, the film portrays the enduring bond between Ushio and Noriko. Their shared passion for art and the creative process shines through, illustrating the intricate dynamics of their relationship as two artists sharing a life together.

Through “Cutie and the Boxer,” viewers are invited to witness a poignant tale of love, sacrifice, and artistic resilience, painting a vivid portrait of a couple intertwined in both their personal and creative endeavors.

👪 Parents Guide & Age Rating


Age Rating:

“Cutie and the Boxer” is rated R for adult themes and language.

Parental Guide:

Parents should be aware that “Cutie and the Boxer” is a documentary film that delves into the 40-year marriage of two artists, Ushio and Noriko Shinohara. The movie explores themes of love, resentment, financial struggles, and artistic creativity.

Sex & Nudity:

The film does not contain explicit sexual content or nudity.

Violence & Gore:

There is no graphic violence or gore depicted in the movie.


The film may contain some strong language and adult dialogue.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking:

The movie touches upon themes of alcoholism as one of the characters struggles with chronic alcohol problems.

Frightening & Intense Scenes:

There are no intense or frightening scenes in the film.

Overall Recommendation:

“Cutie and the Boxer” is recommended for mature audiences due to its adult themes and language. Parents should consider the content and themes of the film before allowing younger viewers to watch it.

📺 Streaming and where to watch

streaming service extra information
VUDU Free You can watch Cutie and the Boxer streaming for free with ads.
Amazon Video You can buy or rent Cutie and the Boxer on Amazon Video.
Google Play Movies You can buy or rent Cutie and the Boxer on Google Play Movies.
YouTube You can buy or rent Cutie and the Boxer on YouTube.
Hulu You can watch Cutie and the Boxer on Hulu by starting a free trial.

❝ Quotes and Cult

  • Life is wonderful. Life should be positive. When it's blown to pieces, that's when it becomes art.
    Ushio Shinohara

🤖Cutie and the Boxer Reddit Talks

Cutie and the Boxer is a 2013 documentary film that explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko.

The film has been praised for its intimate and candid portrayal of the couple’s relationship, as well as for its insights into the creative process. However, it has also been criticized for its lack of focus and for its sometimes repetitive nature.

One of the main topics of discussion on Reddit is the film’s portrayal of the couple’s relationship. Some viewers have praised the film for its honest and unflinching look at the challenges and rewards of marriage. Others have found the film to be too negative, arguing that it focuses too much on the couple’s conflicts and not enough on their love for each other.

Another topic of discussion is the film’s portrayal of Ushio Shinohara’s art. Some viewers have praised the film for its insights into Shinohara’s creative process and for its beautiful cinematography. Others have found the film to be too focused on Shinohara’s art and not enough on his relationship with his wife.

Overall, Cutie and the Boxer is a complex and challenging film that has sparked a lot of discussion on Reddit. While the film has its flaws, it is also a powerful and moving portrait of a unique and fascinating couple.

Here are some specific examples of the discussions that have taken place on Reddit about Cutie and the Boxer:

  • One user praised the film for its “beautiful cinematography” and its “insights into Shinohara’s creative process.”
  • Another user found the film to be “too focused on Shinohara’s art and not enough on his relationship with his wife.”
  • One user criticized the film for its “lack of focus” and its “repetitive nature.”
  • Another user praised the film for its “honest and unflinching look at the challenges and rewards of marriage.”

Overall, the discussions on Reddit about Cutie and the Boxer have been varied and thought-provoking. The film has sparked a lot of debate and discussion, and it is clear that it is a film that has left a lasting impression on many viewers.

Top discussions

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Is “Cutie and the Boxer” a true story?

No, “Cutie and the Boxer” is not a true story. It is a documentary film that explores the 40-year chaotic marriage between two artists, Noriko Shinohara and her husband, the boxing painter Ushio Shinohara.

What is the main focus of “Cutie and the Boxer” movie?

The main focus of “Cutie and the Boxer” is the long-lasting and tumultuous marriage between famed boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko. The film delves into their relationship dynamics and individual struggles as artists.

Who are the main characters in “Cutie and the Boxer” film?

The main characters in “Cutie and the Boxer” are Ushio Shinohara, a renowned boxing painter, and his wife Noriko Shinohara, an artist seeking her own identity after 40 years of marriage.

What sets “Cutie and the Boxer” apart from other documentaries?

“Cutie and the Boxer” stands out for its candid portrayal of a 40-year marriage between two artists, offering a unique insight into the complexities of long-term relationships, artistic struggles, and personal growth.

Can I watch “Cutie and the Boxer” online?

Yes, “Cutie and the Boxer” is available for streaming on platforms like VUDU, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, and Hulu. You can choose to rent or buy the movie online to enjoy the captivating story of Ushio and Noriko Shinohara.

What themes are explored in “Cutie and the Boxer” movie?

“Cutie and the Boxer” delves into themes such as love, sacrifice, identity, artistic passion, and the complexities of marriage. The film provides a heartfelt and poignant commentary on the struggles and triumphs of the human experience.

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