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 »
"Our Little Sister" centers around four sisters, their lives and their relationships. It may look like a small, complacent, too slow and contemplative movie, but Koreeda, with the help of amazing acting all around, elevates the proceedings and delivers a really good movie.
Sachi, Yoshino and Chika are three sisters that have lived together for some years. Their father left, marrying again, and their mother run away, leaving them behind. The death of the father brings all of them to his funeral, where they meet their half-sister Suzu. Sachi, the oldest, offers Suzu go living with them, and Suzu accepts, the four starting to live together.
From that moment on the movie develops slowly, but securely, with great character development, a couple of very touching moments, and a focus on human relationships and the reasons behind our behavior. That Koreeda has restrained Haruka Ayase, charming Masami Nagasawa, happy-go-lucky Kaho and innocent but smart looking Suzu Hirose as the four sisters helps, as they embody their characters and bring them to life. The plot helps, with little vignettes that help develop the story and entice the viewer's attention.
The movie is a little bit slow, but you won't care, because what you will care about is these four sisters, their world, their problems and the relationship they have between themselves and with all that surrounds them. Great.
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