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La maison de Himiko More at IMDbPro »Mezon do Himiko (original title)

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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

It's all about caring

9/10
Author: pavillon10 from Vaudreuil-Dorion, Québec, Canada
5 September 2005

" Saori never liked her gay father...But when a young man comes to tell her that Himiko is dying and that the nursing home is in danger of closing, she begins to see another dimension to his life and to his work." I have seen this movie at the Montreal Film Festival in august 2005.

The young man, Jô Odagiri, and Saori, Kou Shibasaki, are superb. Min Tanaka as Himiko gives a great performance also. The story is all about accepting different people in this case: homosexual, transvestite , old person and delinquent. The music adds to the soft and tender mood of the film. I must say that the cast in supporting roles give a touching and heartwarming performance. Though it could have been a very sad story, the director always gives a touch of hope. Mezon do Himiko is a film everyone should see. Life is not always easy , let's accept other people's difference and try to help each other. It would be a better world.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Love this movie - very layered, a gentle storytelling with nice performances

9/10
Author: highaloft from United States
27 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Every time I watch this film I discover some new little thing - some new idea, new layer of meaning, new way of seeing one of the characters. Whether the director intended to or not, this film is *not* simply about accepting others for who they are. Also, contrary to what another reviewer seems to feel, the story isn't improbable, and the plot *is* well fleshed out. If you have no appetite however for nuance and complex emotions, then don't see this film.

One of the key ideas epitomized by Saori, the main character, is that of being true to oneself - risk the truth because living a lie will not only cause pain to yourself, but also to others - her father didn't start his life truthfully, and so the result is that she's become an angry young woman. This idea is also evident in her "almost" love scene with the capricious Haruhiko, where she senses that he's not truly "into" her - she just happened to evoke an admiration from him at a moment that he's been particularly vulnerable sexually (due to his lover's illness); his desire is mutable, but ultimately she knows she's not really what he wants to satiate him, and perhaps *he's* not what she wants to satiate her. (Contrast it to the forceful grasping of her boss, which she does respond to.) Also, she comes to accept and even like the other characters, but without denying her own sullen and angry nature.

The acting is very good, and the dialogue is succinct, so you have the opportunity to read more story in the characters' faces. And you want to, because the characters each have a lot of appeal. The movie is *not* full of "flaming gay" stereotypes, but anyhow, how could it be truthful if it didn't have any queens? There's definitely humor, sadness and longing, and hope; it's a gentle storytelling, with nice music by the way. Definitely makes me want to see other films by this director.

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0 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Yet another recent failed bit of fluff from Japan

3/10
Author: trpnallday from Fukuoka
11 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Recently it seems that there is been an unfortunate trend in Japan (and by extension, the rest of Asia) to make movies with no story. This is one of those movies. The colors are pretty and the soundtrack lighthearted but there is no story and the pathetic excuse for a plot is ridiculous. It was like the director sat down a camera and had a bunch of random misfits run around in front of it like some psychedelic interpretation of Charlie Chaplin that got lost in translation. There is nothing connecting the seemingly random things that happen on screen and there is nothing to draw the viewer in or make the viewer sympathize with any of the characters. In short, there is nothing tying the video together into a movie.

Seriously, what is with the plot? So the main girl is 20 or so and has an 80 year old dad who suddenly turned gay one day and ran out of the house? Now her nearly-dead dad is lovers with a 20-something hot ambivalently gay guy? Then there is the proposed subplot with the mom who seems to maybe have still been involved with the dad even after he turned homosexual but that whole thing is never explained. Then the girl falls in love with the young gay dude and they start going at it but stop and she goes and does her playboy boss instead all the while wailing like a 5year old and fantasizing about the gay guy??? Not to mention all the rest of the cast is full of stereotypical flaming "gay" people. People like the other reviewer here pitch this as some "let's all get along" thing, but, really, how is throwing around all these stereotypes helping anything?

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