Feature Film | Drama | Japan | Japanese | 1h55m
Dir: Kore-eda Hirokazu | Scr: Kore-eda Hirokazu | Ph: Yamasaki Yutaka | Prod: Kato Yoshihiro, Kōno Satoshi, Taguchi Hijiri, & Yasuda Masahiro | Mus: Gonchichi | Ed: Kore-eda Hirokazu | AD: Isomi Toshihiro & Mitsumatsu Keiko | Snd: Ohtake Shuji & Tsurumaki Yutaka | Cast: Abe Hiroshi, Natsukawa Yui, You, Takahashi Kazuya, Tanaka Shohei, Kiki Kirin, Harada Yoshio
A family gathers to remember the life of its eldest son, who had died a dozen or so years earlier whilst saving the life of a drowning child. Whilst most of its members make an effort to appease each other and get along, the family’s patriarch – a grumpy, elderly doctor – remains unable to get past the fact that his one surviving son failed to follow him into medicine. Comprised of a number of beautifully observed scenes of food preparation, eating, walking, and grave tending, the film slowly paints a deeply affecting portrait of a loving but imperfect family. Deliberate but unobtrusive direction, tender, insightful writing, and several subtle, beautifully observed performances combine to decidedly moving effect. Only the film’s rather twee, but thankfully generally unobtrusive, score detracts somewhat.