6 items from 2016
The latest family drama from the Croisette regular follows Ryota, a man (Hiroshi Abe) dwelling on his past glory as a prize-winning author who wastes the money he makes as a private detective on gambling and can barely pay child support.
After the death of his father, his aging mother (Kirin Kiki) and beautiful ex-wife (Yoko Make) seem to be moving on with their lives. Renewing contact with his initially distrusting family, Ryota struggles to take back control of his existence and to find a lasting place in the life of his young son (Taiyo Yoshizawa) — until a stormy summer night offers them a chance to truly bond again.
Arrow have released »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
“A stew needs time for the flavors to sink in; so do people,” observes the sage matriarch of “After the Storm.” The same could be said for Hirokazu Kore-eda’s filmmaking, which keeps the melancholy tale of a broken family reunited briefly by a typhoon on a slow simmer until the last act, which is sprinkled with small epiphanies about our humble existence. Featuring an uncomplicated plot and easily relatable personalities, this is a divertissement compared with the thematic heft of “Like Father, Like Son.” Still its gentle contemplation of life’s disappointments and human inadequacy may draw new recruits beyond the director-writer’s euro-arthouse base.
The character arc of a deadbeat father struggling to win back the love and respect of his estranged wife and son is one often found in pugilist films. But for Kore-eda, it’s a means to rework past themes in his family dramas, such »
- Maggie Lee
Can our children pick and choose the personality traits they inherit, or are they doomed to obtain our lesser qualities? These are the hard questions being meditated on in After the Storm, a sobering, transcendent tale of a divorced man’s efforts to nudge back into his son’s life. Beautifully shot by regular cinematographer Yutaka Yamasaki, it marks a welcome and quite brilliant return to serious fare for writer-editor-director Hirokazu Kore-eda following last year’s Our Little Sister, widely regarded as one of the slightest works of his career thus far.
Recent Kore-eda regular Abe Hiroshi plays Ryota, a prize-winning author struggling to live up to the success of his first novel. He’s a father of one, a gambling addict, and probably a bit of an asshole. We learn the man’s been researching for his follow-up book by moonlighting as a private eye. The job adds an »
- Rory O'Connor
Hirokazu Kore-eda’s story of siblings reunited has charm and hidden depths
This utterly enchanting tale of female family bonds (mothers, daughters, sisters) finds three twentysomething siblings travelling to the funeral of their estranged father, and meeting their 14-year-old half-sister for the first time. While Sachi, Yoshino and Chika live together with their shared memories, young Suzu seems all alone, until her new-found family invite her to come and live with them in Kamakura. “She may be your sister, but she’s also the daughter of the woman who destroyed your family,” warns a wary auntie. But despite the melancholic old wounds which her presence reopens, Suzu proves an entirely positive presence in this lovely, generous, and touching adaptation of Akimi Yoshida’s graphic novel Umimachi Diary. Filmed in mid- and long shots, which emphasise group framings over isolated close-ups, Our Little Sister may seem at first glance to be »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
The arrival of a half-sister they’ve never met before subtly undermines the existence of three twentysomething women in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s tender tale
This sweetly tender movie from Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda is superbly unforced and unassuming, finding delicate notes of affirmation and optimism and discreetly celebrating the beauty of nature and family love. It is watercolour cinema with nothing watery about it, in the classic “family drama” vein that you might associate with Yasujirô Ozu, though in conversation at Cannes last year – where I first saw this – the director told me his inspiration was more Mikio Naruse. Our Little Sister is not as challenging and overtly painful as his previous films I Wish or Like Father, Like Son, and there might be some who find it a bit tame or even sentimental; I can only say there is something subtly subversive in the emotional dynamic Kore-eda creates with »
- Peter Bradshaw
We already got a trailer for Hirokazu Koreeda‘s next feature After the Storm, likely coming to Cannes, but we’re still waiting on Sony Classics to give a release to his last drama Our Little Sister (titled Umimachi Diary in Japan). In the meantime, it’ll hit the U.K. next month and today brings a new trailer, and more. Starring Ayase Haruka, Nagasawa Masami, Kaho, and Hirose Suzu, the story follows a trio of adult sisters, living in their grandmother’s Kamakura home who are visited by a 13-year-old half-sibling.
We said in our review, “Adapted from Akimi Yoshida’s highly successful manga Umimachi Diary, Our Little Sister is once again an examination of the dynamics amongst the members of a damaged family. In attempting to tackle four protagonists, however, Kore-eda seems to have bitten off more than he can chew, delivering an uneven and ultimately superficial story of emotional maturation. »
- Jordan Raup
6 items from 2016
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