This is a slow-paced but pleasant story of a family living on the east side of Tokyo in the old canal district. Nothing much happens; it's just a pleasant drama about a multi-generational family and their neighbors.
However, I cannot recommend this film--at least not the print I saw-- for anyone who does not speak Japanese. The reason is the worst job of subtitling I have ever seen. The subtitles are written in a telegraphic style, as if the writer was afraid to use more than four or five words in a line. (Subtitlers operate under space limits, but this person has taken it to ridiculous lengths.) As an example, in one scene, a friend from the country has sent the family a box of peaches. The grandmother says that she will take some of them to her husband, who is in the hospital. The other family members advise her that peaches bruise easily. In Japanese, her response is, "Don't worry, I'll be careful with them." The English subtitle is a single word: "Gingerly." The subtitles are so sparse that important plot elements are lost. Why is the main character going to see a glamorous woman who has a corner office? The Japanese dialogue tells us that she's his sister, who married into money. The subtitles contain none of this information, so his visit seems mysterious.
When I saw this film at a film festival years ago, people started walking out after 10 or 15 minutes. Only about 1/4 of the audience remained by the end of the film. I assume that they're the people who understood Japanese and could therefore follow the plot.
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