7.0/10
332
2 user 15 critic

Sad Vacation (2007)

Kenji, abandoned by his mother, scrapes out a meager existence doing odd jobs including driving bar hostesses and their customers home. Besides this he takes care of the sister of an old ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Kenji Shiraishi
Kaori Fujimitsu
Eri Ishida ...
Chiyoko Mamiya
Yuka Itaya ...
Saeko Shiina
...
Kijima
Kengo Kôra ...
Yusuke Mamiya
Ken Mitsuishi ...
Shigeo
...
Kozue Tamura
Katsuo Nakamura ...
Shigeki Mamiya
Joe Odagiri ...
Goto
Yôichirô Saitô ...
Akihiko
Kyûsaku Shimada ...
Sone
Kosuke Toyohara ...
Kawashima
Maho Toyota ...
Makimura
Kaori Tsuji ...
Yuri Matsumura
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Storyline

Kenji, abandoned by his mother, scrapes out a meager existence doing odd jobs including driving bar hostesses and their customers home. Besides this he takes care of the sister of an old friend in jail and a young illegal immigrant. But his life reaches a turning point when he happens to meet Chiyoko, his long lost mother. She is now married to Mamiya, the owner of an express package delivery service. They also have a teenage son, Yusuke. Subdued feelings of alarm, discomfort and resentment between Chiyoko, Kenji, and his half brother Yusuke hide underneath and are seemingly caused by the inseparable blood ties that seem to wield control over everyone's destiny. Is blood that powerful? What exactly defines a mother or a father? While Kenji struggles with these questions and attempts to escape his fate, Chiyoko seems content to let these issues unfold and find a solution. Where will it ultimately lead them? Written by anonymous

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Release Date:

8 September 2007 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Szomorú vakáció  »

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Follows Helpless (1996) See more »

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A sad departure from the glory of Eureka
27 July 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Having been literally astounded at the glory and beauty of Aoyama's film "yurika" I was very much looking forward to Sad Vacation. I ended up at the Oslo International Film Festival with a free ticket and 2 friends who wanted to watch My Blueberry Nights. I managed to convince them to watch Sad Vacation.

There I sat in the darkness of the cinema watching a film unfold that had some stark moments of beauty (when tadanobu floats down the river) and some great shots. However, the film seemed muddled, over-thought out, incoherent. The stories crossed over, the explanations were not always complete.

The ending happened to be one of the silliest and most bizarre things ever witnessed on film, which is perhaps the reason for it, but it didn't seem like a fitting end to me.

Overall I would not rate this as a bad movie. Its just that when you have seen what Aoyama is capable of it feels like he betrays you a little. Perhaps thats down to high expectations, perhaps you are hoping for another "eureka".. perhaps.

All I know is that this film didn't capture me. I doubt very much I would give it a second viewing either because there was nothing that drew me back to it after I had seen it.

Let it just drift on as a forgotten movie by a fantastically talented director who hopefully pulls up his socks and knocks us out with the next one.


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