Majime, an eccentric man in publishing company, who has unique ability of words, joins the team that will compile a new dictionary, 'The Great Passage.' In the eclectic team, he becomes ... See full summary »
Nanami is an apathetic, part-time junior high school teacher, whose only solace comes from connecting with others on "Planet", a new social network service. One day, a young man named ... See full summary »
A strict, but caring mother has an awakening when she is told she has cancer and it is terminal. She has a few months. She needs to complete her tasks in that short time frame. She needs to... See full summary »
Based on a book by writer - director Miwa Nishikawa, a recently widowed writer ( Masahiro Motoki,Departures)whose wife died in a bus crash comes to terms with his grief,or lack of it, in ... See full summary »
A 40-year old man sees his life change when his wife gets pregnant. He already has a daughter from his first marriage whom he rarely sees and two step-daughters, from his wife's first ... See full summary »
One spring Hiromi, who is the mother of an 11-year-old girl Tomo, left home for the umpteenth time. Tomo is accustomed to such a mother and as always went to Makio's place. He is a brother ... See full summary »
1918 -1942 , A Time Period passed . Vancouver Canada , a Japanese Community and the struggles and triumphs they faced , and the Spirit of a Baseball Team that won over many, and overcame ... See full summary »
Newcomer Shizuka Ishibashi throws herself into the role of Mika, a nurse by day, a 'girlie bar' hostess by night, subject to feelings of anxiety and isolation, and unable to reach through a... 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.
A husband (Isao Hashizume) and wife (Kazuko Yoshiyuki) have been married for 50 years. For her birthday, the husband asks the wife what she wants for her birthday present. She replies that ... See full summary »
When people finish their day and hurry home, his day starts. His diner is open from midnight to seven in the morning. They call it "Midnight Diner". Pork, Miso soup combo, Beer, Sake and ... See full summary »
Viewed at CineMatsuri 2015. Japan Academy Award winning Director Yuya Ishii disappoints with a film that is contrived, circular, and boring. It lacks chemistry between on-screen characters and character resonance with the viewer. The story essentially ends up were it began (a modern Japanese family facing typical semi-irresolvable issues). Then there is the hard-to-swallow plot device using an initial medical diagnosis of brain cancer with a life expectancy of one week (!) for the mother (who is fully mobile, depressed, and has occasional memory lapses). The Director shamelessly milks this initial medical diagnosis for all it is worth including extensive padding with many slow and boring "character-building" scenes. There is much telegraphing to minimize surprises (unrepaired car body damage = family financial strife; MD saying future tests are needed to possibly revise the initial diagnosis = contrived Hollywood happy ending; etc.). The mother is played by veteran actress, Mieko Harada, who delivers the best (but disconnected) lines in the script--sort of like a stand-up comedian (but, this time, sitting/lying down)! That said, Director Ishii seems to be making some medical reality statements including: (1) if you are seriously sick, the nearest physician and hospital may not be the best ones; (2) your family needs to rapidly get smart on your disease and its treatment; (3) always get many second opinions; and (4) the medial safety net in Japan is essentially nonexistent. (If you live in the USA, bet all/most of this is familiar, unfortunately.) Back acting (where line delivery is photographed from behind or the side) is used during the final scene. Cinematography (1.78 aspect ratio, color), lighting, and set decoration are okay. Sound production is fine. Music is undistinguished. Subtitles are close enough to line readings, but only above-the-line names are translated in the credits (which seems to be an insult--perhaps not intended--to the many others who contributed to the making of this film). There was no audience applause after the film ended. Dead silence. WILLIAM FLANIGAN, PhD.
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