The trials, tribulations, and joys of raising a child. The film follows the everyday events of a family with one boy, coming up to his second birthday, interspersed with occasional thoughts... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Chiyo
Hiroo Suzuki ...
Tarô, the baby
Eiji Funakoshi ...
Gorô, the father
Kumeko Urabe ...
Ino, grandmother
Mantarô Ushio ...
Laundry Man
...
Chiyo's Friend
Misako Watanabe ...
Setsuko, the aunt
Masako Kyôzuka ...
Chiyo's sister
Shirô Ôtsuji ...
Doctor
Mayumi Kurata ...
Neighbor wife
Jun Hamamura ...
Older Doctor
Yôko Hizakura
Hiroko Hanai
Akira Natsuki ...
Doctor at Hospital
Takashi Nakamura
Edit

Storyline

The trials, tribulations, and joys of raising a child. The film follows the everyday events of a family with one boy, coming up to his second birthday, interspersed with occasional thoughts of the child. They initially live in an apartment building, and then move into the doting grandmother's house. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

18 November 1962 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

I Am Two Years Old  »

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Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Criterion Are You Listening? Release this on DVD!
19 November 2001 | by (Vancouver BC Canada) – See all my reviews

The only real disappointment with this film is that I will probably never get to see this on DVD. I want to own it so badly now.

I was tremendously impressed with this film when I saw it for the first time at the Ichikawa retrospective in Vancouver tonight. It reminded me of another favourite film of mine, Yasujiro Ozu's Good Morning.

I Am Two revolves around a Japanese nuclear family (husband, wife, and small child) and their trials and tribulations. There's no hard plot here, just vignettes of life taking place over the course of 9 - 12 months (the time span is never made very clear, but that is probably an accurate estimate).

The film is told from the pseudo-perspective of a one year old (who turns two at film's end). I say pseudo, because Kon doesn't inflict childlike camera angles on us throughout the film. Instead he relies on narration by the child, mainly to introduce new characters to us from his perspective and to introduce new plot points, again from the child's perspective.

The film has a similar pace to Good Morning, similar character interactions, and similar themes (i.e. the loss of traditional Japanese values as the pace of change accelerates). It doesn't benefit from Ozu's use of colour, but neither is it a fault of the film. I Am Two is not Good Morning, but you could consider them first cousins, both of which have a great deal of charm.

Like Good Morning there is oblique social commentary, but it is never in your face. If you recognize it, then so be it, the film seems to suggest. If you miss it, then so be it also. Both films recognize changes in Japanese society, but neither film passes judgement on those changes.

One of the interesting aspects of the film is the opening ... it details the birth of Taro, narrated by Taro, and from Taro's "blurry, ill-defined" perspective.

If this retrpspective passes through your town, this is one I VERY VERY HIGHLY recommend. It is a must see. And I would love someone (preferably Criterion) to put it out on DVD.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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