After losing everything in a tsunami, 10-year-old Hana is taken in by 26-year-old distant relative Jungo Kusarino. They live as father and daughter but share a profound sense of loss. Jungo... See full summary »
Asako, a comic book artist in her early forties, is devastated by the death of her precious cat, CaVa, which kept her company for over 15 years, as her assistant Naomi watches on with ... See full summary »
In a Japanese high school, a class of adolescent geeks joins the new synchronized swimming teacher and takes up the challenge to take part in the competition, in spite of the mockeries of the "real sportsmen".
This movie was available as in-flight entertainment on a long overseas flight I took recently and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Some other web sites complain because it is "commercial entertainment" I would have to agree with this complaint; if you are looking for material for your next "Esoteric Art Film" class, this movie is not for you. This is simply a solidly produced, entertainment movie.
That having been said, it manages to have suspense, plot surprises, personal interest, a little bit of off-beat humor, a nice pace and so on -> all without relying on any of the typical movie crutches of sex, nudity, profanity, violence or prejudicial stereotypes.
(By the way the two lead actresses Yuko Takeuchi and Haruka Igawa are both pretty and effective in their dramatic roles. Makes one wonder why Hollywood perceives the need to insert Chinese actresses into Japanese roles in other movies.)
The only thing that might be a little bit of a challenge for those with easily frightened, very small children is the open-heart surgery scenes. While I am not a doctor, at least I was a emergency medical technician years ago, am a computer engineer currently and was pretty impressed with the effort they put into making the medical/technical story and surgery scenes believable. While not unduly gory for a normal adult, these scenes might be too much for someone who is highly squeamish and/or faints at the sight of blood.
Strong points of the movie are the off beat interview scenes with Dr. Taguchi and her "Unspecific Complaints" department patients as well as the over the top interview style of the investigator from the Ministry of Health as played by Hiroshi Abe.
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