There's a mistake the director made. It was to create a movie that is not indipendent from the book. If you've already read "Norwegian Wood", by Haruki Murakami, this film will be a very good occasion to see all those scenes that you found in the novel. And visually it's exactly like the book, every place, every face is just like I imagined while reading. Ken'ichi Matsuyama is a perfect Watanabe: a fine face not really handsome, common features like the common guy he plays. And great was is performance, Watanabe is a "witness of life" but extremely thoughtful. Full of feelings, Matsuyama is able to express them all without overacting. Nice performances by the actresses. Rinko Kikuchi seems to use her tall and strong body to play the tremendously fragile Naoko, highlighting how that frailty is just in her mind. Kiko Mizuhara is a lovely and lively Midori, the girl who represent a solution for Watanabe, teaching him how to live even without realizing she's doing that. Tetsuji Tamayama is handsome and dissolute like you expected from Nagasawa, but there's no much to say about it. And that's too bad, because what I really missed were all the minor characters that give strength and sometimes lighten the story, for example "Storm Trooper", Watanabe's roommate that - in the novel - is the one who make the reader laugh breaking the pression of thoughts and pain and stuff like this. I was disappointed Anh Hung Tran didn't give more space to Storm Trooper, making the whole movie a little too serious. Even Reiko seems to be a secondary character, while she's the key to the ending. In fact, leaving aside her story deprives the last scene of its meaning, looking like a senseless sex scene. Another thing in the ending very disappointing is that Watanabe find out of Naoko death before choosing Midori. In the book it's just the opposite: Watanabe picks Midori - so he picks life - before knowing Naoko killed herself. Inverting this fact has meant that Midori's not the first choice anymore but the only possible choice.
Finally, missing out some important features poses a risk for those who didn't read the novel to consider this movie a sucession of events that, at the end, don't go anywhere.