8 February 2013 6:19 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Forget all those phoney Oscar-bait films – this complex, delicate drama about two young boys living through their parents' split is the real deal, and deeply satisfying

• Watch Peter on this week's Guardian Film Show

One of the year's best films has arrived quietly, unnoticed by the awards-season cheerleaders, but with its delicacy and complexity, it puts the Oscar-bait to shame. Hirokazu Koreeda's I Wish has taken two years to come to the UK. It has been more than worth the wait. Like his earlier movie Still Walking, this is a deeply considered Japanese family drama in the tradition of Ozu, with echoes of Edward Yang and Tsai Ming-liang – moving, sometimes heartbreakingly sad, often mysterious. The film is about the powerful imperative of family unity, but also about the inevitability, and even desirability, of families finally disintegrating and allowing everyone involved a painful kind of freedom.

The original title is Kiseki, »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Hirokazu Koreeda
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