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Our Little Sister (2015)

Umimachi Diary (original title)
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A story that revolves around three sisters who live in their grandmother's home and the arrival of their thirteen-year-old half sister.

Director:

Hirokazu Koreeda

Writers:

Akimi Yoshida (manga), Hirokazu Koreeda (screenplay)
12 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Haruka Ayase ... Sachi Kôda
Masami Nagasawa ... Yoshino Kôda
Kaho Kaho ... Chika Kôda
Suzu Hirose ... Suzu Asano
Ryo Kase ... Yoshimi Sakashita (as Ryô Kase)
Ryôhei Suzuki ... Dr. Yasuyuki Inoue
Takafumi Ikeda Takafumi Ikeda ... Sanzo Hamada
Kentarô Sakaguchi ... Tomoaki Fujii
Ohshirô Maeda Ohshirô Maeda ... Fûta Ozaki (as Ohshiroh Maeda)
Midoriko Kimura ... Hideko Takano
Yûko Nakamura Yûko Nakamura ... Yôko Asano
Jun Fubuki Jun Fubuki ... Sachiko Ninomiya
Kazuaki Shimizu Kazuaki Shimizu ... Toshio Iida
Kaoru Hirata Kaoru Hirata
Shin'ichi Tsutsumi ... Dr. Kazuya Shiina
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Storyline

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. They have lived together since 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 to Kamakura home... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

- Rated PG for thematic elements and brief language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official Site | See more »

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

13 June 2015 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Kamakura Diary See more »

Filming Locations:

Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,118, 10 July 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$461,263, 6 November 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company,GAGA,Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Suzu Hirose, who plays Suzu, had played basketball in junior high but had never played soccer. For character, Suzu, playing soccer was major part of her life. It made her feel alive, accepted, enable for her to make friends and have her own "ibashiro (a place you belong)", and be a "child". Koreeda felt it was important that Suzu played soccer well enough to put it on screen. She, along with Ohshiro Maeda, who played Futa, was assigned a soccer coach and took up soccer training close to a year. She became quite an able player many in media thought Suzu had been playing soccer for a long time. The goal scene was reshot many times, even after Koreeda was satisfied, until Suzu felt it was good enough to make spectators' cheer believable. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Sachi Kôda: I want you to stay forever.
Suzu Asano: I want to stay forever.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
No traveling for this sisterhood
1 September 2016 | by David FergusonSee all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Movies don't frequently begin after the most disruptive drama has already occurred. However, such is the case with director Hirokazu Koreeda's adaptation of Akima Yoshida's graphic novel "Umimachi Diary", the source material for this tale of sisterly love formed by tradition and some unfavorable circumstances that are "nobody's fault" (a recurring theme).

Three adult sisters live together in their large family home, and have done so for many years – since their father left for another woman, and their mother, unable to cope, abandoned them. Sachi (Hanuka Ayase) is the oldest and self-burdens by carrying the most responsibility. Yoshino (Masami Nagasawa) and Chiko (Kaho) are quite a bit more care-free than their older sister, but this non-traditional family unit functions with traditional meals served within the walls of their traditional house.

The sisters attend their father's funeral where they meet their half-sister Suzu (Suzu Hirose), who they invite to come live with them. The small town community of Kamakura provides a quaint and beautiful backdrop for the film … which has plenty of personal drama (what would you expect from 4 sisters?) but lacks the high drama that cinema usually heaps on screen.

We easily get to know each of the characters, and how they deal with being a product of their past, while hoping not to repeat the mistakes of their parents. Although "death" is seemingly everywhere, this is mostly a story about appreciating life and beauty – and the strength that comes with a family bond.

The acting is superb throughout, and director Koreeda's camera work is understated and complimentary … except for the moments when it's breathtaking – the Cherry Blossom tunnel, for instance. The look and feel of the film is quite tranquil, but emotions are constantly stirring – whether at a local diner or harvesting the family plum tree for this year's plum wine. It's little wonder that the film was so well received at Cannes Film Festival, and for those who enjoy a less-thunderous approach to cinema, it should be quite a pleasant two hours.


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