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Hospitalité (2010) More at IMDbPro »Kantai (original title)

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The film follows the follies that ensue when a man and his wife shack up with a family that owns a printing press in their building, the husband takes it over, and the couple begin inviting a motley crew of friends. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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delightful family intrigue offers comedy and social comment in equal measure See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order)
Kenji Yamauchi ... Mikio Kobayashi
Kiki Sugino ... Natsuki Kobayashi
Kanji Furutachi ... Hanataro Kagawa
Bryerly Long ... Annabelle Kagawa
Eriko Ono ... Eriko Kobayashi
Kumi Hyôdô ... Seiko
Hiroko Matsuda ... Toshiko
Tatsuya Kawamura ... Musician
Naoki Sugawara ... Takahiro Honma
Haruka Saito ... Mikio's First Wife
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Eiji Leon Lee

Directed by
Kôji Fukada 
Produced by
Makoto Adachi .... executive producer
Kôji Fukada .... producer
Takashi Hirota .... associate producer
Tatsuya Iwakura .... executive producer
Norifumi Kobayashi .... line producer
Osamu Matsubara .... executive producer
Mikiyo Miyata .... executive producer
Mao Nakamura .... assistant producer
Kôsuke Ono .... executive producer
Kiki Sugino .... producer
Original Music by
Yusuke Kataoka 
Kumiko Yabu 
Cinematography by
Ken'ichi Negishi (director of photography)
Production Design by
Kensuke Suzuki 
Sound Department
Ippei Shingaki .... sound

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Kantai" - Japan (original title)
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Japan:96 min | USA:96 min


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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
delightful family intrigue offers comedy and social comment in equal measure, 2 March 2011
Author: CountZero313 from Japan

Mikio runs a small printing company in working-class Tokyo, taking care of the machines while his young, beautiful wife manages the books and the education of her stepdaughter Eriko, from Mikio's previous marriage. Mikio's sister lives with them, retreating from her own broken marriage. Their earnest if humdrum lives see little drama, except the escape of their parakeet Pea, and the gossipy interference of the Neighbourhood Watch. But drama is on its way in the form of Kagawa, an Iago-esque charmer who forces his way into their lives bringing irrevocable consequences.

Writer/ director Koji Fukuda presents an ostensibly absurdist comedy that also functions as a sly take on Japanese paranoia and persistent reluctance to engage with the outside world. The story sets up the usual bogeymen of the Japanese media – homeless itinerants, illegal immigrants – while suggesting that the truly awful machinations come from domestic sources. That said, the polemic is lightly dotted through; it is the comedy and family intrigue that dominate here. From Ozu's "Tokyo Monogatari", through to Kawase's "Moe no Suzaku' and the recent "Still Walking" from Koreda, the ties that bind and infuriate have proved fertile ground for Japanese cinema. Fukuda's "Hospitalite" is both a welcome addition to the canon and a fresh take on the genre. The tight script and brisk pacing have a lot to do with that success, but the performances from the principals here are exceptional and really take the film to a new height. Keji Yamaguchi as weak-willed Mikio is a delight, while Kanji Furutachi plays Kagawa with a level of menace that is Shakespearean. The scenes with the two together, especially when Kagawa is twisting the knife on Mikio, are priceless, be they comedic or racking up the tension. Minor players hold their own: Kumi Hyodo is impressive as the self-deceiving sister Seiko, showing that acting is re-acting with some hilarious expressions. Hiroko Matsuda completely embodies the neighbourhood busybody. Kiki Sugino as Natsuki, the narrative's emotional core, keeps it straight, the perfect foil to the mayhem that is being unleashed around her. We share Natsuki's rising incredulity to unfolding events – only to realize that she, too, is complicit…

The film was shot low-budget HD but technically stands up. There are really only four locations – inside downstairs, inside upstairs, the street and the riverside – and Fukuda uses the claustrophobia aesthetically, building and releasing the tension as the tempo demands.

By the end, everything is back the way it was, though not quite the same. That motif resolves itself as if to wink at the hypocrisy inherent in Japanese discourse on immigration and their own safe society. Social critique aside, this is a joyous film, superbly acted, deftly scripted and shot, and thought-provoking into the bargain. Brave, mature film-making that deserves to be seen by audiences in their thousands.

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