Three sisters live together in their late grandmother's house in the city of Kamakura. They have lived together since their dad left home for another woman and their mum imitated her husband by running off with another man. Sachi, 29, the oldest Koda sister, a nurse at the local hospital, acts as a substitute mother to Yoshino, 22, and Chika, 19. One day, the threesome learns of the death of their "traitor" father and it is only halfheartedly that they go to his funeral. But in Yamagata something unexpected happens: they meet their half-sister Suzu, 13, there and immediately fall for the spell of this exquisite young creature. Sensing that Yoko, her father's widow, will not be a fit guardian, Sachi invites Suzu to move in with them.Written by
Haruka Ayase, who played the eldest daughter Sachi, is know in Japan for her open, bubbly and sunny personality who is quick to laugh. When Koreeda met her, he came away with an impression that Ayase was more of a "Woman of Showa Period (1926 to 1989)" and close to Oz's muse, Setsuko Hara with her quiet and introspective beauty, elegance and grace. With this in mind, he wanted to shoot the film in style after Ozu. During the filming of dining scene when sisters discussed their father's death, he positioned the dining table in a manner Ozu had used - having the table set perpendicular to the line of tatami mattress. However, Koreeda felt the perpendicular composition to be too formal and restrictive. So he decided to move dining table and actresses around a little off horizontal to make the scene more natural and every-day family life-like, ended up much closer to what Director Naruse did with his composition. See more »
When the four sisters are having their lunch with Chika's boyfriend at their house, in the interior shot looking outward, all the noodles on the main plate have been eaten.
In the next scene, an exterior scene looking inward to the house, Sachi reaches down and takes the plate away but Chika reaches up and takes several noodles off the plate with her chopsticks. See more »
All the Hollywood directors producing one comic-book sequel after the other (and all other directors as well) should see this film, they should turn away in shame, and quit directing. Movie is largely seen as a medium to entertain, yet it could be so much more.
Watching this movie, in every scene, it is incomprehensible for a western viewer how it is filmed: There are only daily life scenes, nothing dramatic, yet it is such a heart-warming experience, a simple joy of watching people living their lives.
The story follows 3 very different grown-up sisters who live independently in a big house. The father has left them when they were little, and now they learn that they yet have another little sister. Soon their little dormitory has an additional guest. The main characters are the youngest sister who tries to adapt to her new life, and the oldest sister who is determined to live her life lead by strength and kindness.
Critics have compared Kore-eda with Ozu, because of his calm observation of life. Still, Ozu's films contain great sadness, while Kore-eda's movies ('Like Father,Like Son', 'Kiseki') are full of hope and joy for living. They show simple people trying to find happiness in life. It has a Zen-like quality: one doesn't need big dramatic events to show love and kindness, if you are looking close enough you will find it in the most ordinary things in daily life.
This is one of the best movies I've ever seen.
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