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 »
A mellow drama following the moral decline of a housewife turned bank employee who embezzles a fortune from her customers and indulges in an affair with a younger man. Set in 1994, shortly after the burst of Japan's economic bubble.
After failing his university entrance examinations and being left by his girlfriend, Yuki Hirano decides to join a forestry training program only to discover that the job is much harder ... See full summary »
Tamako graduated from a university in Tokyo, but she now lives with her father back in Kofu. Tamako doesn't help her father or tries to get a job. She spends her time just eating and sleeping throughout the four seasons of the year.
Kitamichi is a 19-year-old labor worker. He develops feelings for Yasuko who works in a used used bookstore, but he has never had a girlfriend. He also befriends Kusakabe, but jealousy soon threatens their friendship.
32-year-old Ichiko (Sakura Ando) lives at home with her parents, passing the days in self-indulgent grunginess. Ichiko's recently divorced younger sister Fumiko has moved back home with her... See full summary »
Over one day at this love hotel in Shinjuku, Tokyo - where guests have the choice of staying for a short time or overnight - the dreams and desires of these characters intersect while aspiring for something greater.
Sawa Yamagishi (Sakura Ando) worked as a nursing-care helper. The family of an old man asked Sawa to sleep with him, which led her to eventually lose her job and house. Now, she has nowhere... See full summary »
In a Japanese port town, Tatsuo, a traumatized man, spends his days drifting aimlessly and his nights drinking himself to oblivion. Whiling his hours away at a pachinko parlor, he meets Takuji, a young man on parole who impulsively invites him to a shabby house on the outskirts of town. There, Tatsuo glimpses Takuji's bedridden father and callous mother, and meets his world-weary older sister Chinatsu. While immediately drawn to each other, romance is an unaffordable luxury for the emotionally closed-off Tatsuo and the disillusioned Chinatsu, who sells herself to provide for her family and keep her brother out of jail. As Tatsuo and Chinatsu take tentative steps towards a relationship, the happy-go-lucky Takuji latches onto Tatsuo, binding their fates. Each step they take to build a better life sets off a chain of actions that have devastating consequences. Written by
This is a really elegantly made film all around. Of course, it's grim but the colors and the cinematography do a good job of highlighting just the right type of tone needed for the narrative and these characters' journeys. And emotional journeys they do take. The actors are really fantastic though, and really do make it a powerful sort of journey, much more effective than I would've thought as how the film started. I do think it's such an uncomfortable viewing experience though, not an easy one and while I can usually handle that, I don't think this is a great film though. Effective, but certain writing issues keep it from getting on another level. Still, recommended.
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