4 user 19 critic

The Long Excuse (2016)

Nagai iiwake (original title)
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 »


Miwa Nishikawa


Miwa Nishikawa (screenplay), Miwa Nishikawa (novel)
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Masahiro Motoki ... Sachio Kinugasa
Pistol Takehara Pistol Takehara ... Yoichi Omiya
Eri Fukatsu ... Natsuko Kinugasa
Kenshin Fujita Kenshin Fujita ... Shinpei Omiya
Tamaki Shiratori Tamaki Shiratori ... Akari Omiya
Sôsuke Ikematsu Sôsuke Ikematsu ... Shinsuke Kishimoto
Haru Kuroki ... Chihiro Fukunaga
Keiko Horiuchi Keiko Horiuchi ... Yuki, Yoichi's wife
Maho Yamada Maho Yamada ... Teacher
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jiji Bû Jiji Bû
Chikako Hara Chikako Hara
Hideto Iwai Hideto Iwai
Suon Kan Suon Kan
Katsuya Kobayashi Katsuya Kobayashi
Izumi Matsuoka Izumi Matsuoka


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 caring for the children of a working man who also lost his wife in the same accident.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Official Sites:






Release Date:

14 October 2016 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

#5 See more »

Filming Locations:

Tokyo, Japan See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Ombra mai fu
from the opera "Xerxes"
Written by Georg Frideric Haendel
performed by Aoi Teshima
See more »

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User Reviews

Fantastic Performance By Motoki
27 August 2017 | by ebossertSee all my reviews

Note: Check me out as the Asian Movie Enthusiast on YouTube.

This movie is about a novelist who makes life difficult for everyone around him. He's a gloomy fellow who seems to be in a perpetually bad mood. Even worse, he cheats on his faithful wife with an editor acquaintance. Very early in this film, things take a serious turn when his wife dies in a bus accident. Now confronted with this abrupt event, our protagonist is faced with the task of finding closure and moving on with his life.

One of the most interesting things about "The Long Excuse" is that this protagonist is the epitome of multi-dimensionality. He cheats on his wife and has an attitude problem, so you immediately dislike him. But then, he shows a softer side when he volunteers to help care for two little kids, whose father is also a widower from the same bus accident. That sense of responsibility helps to make him more likable. However, half the time I was thinking to myself: "Did this guy still have feelings for his wife, does he feel guilty for cheating on her, or is he just completely confused with how to feel about it?" And it does not end there. I'm not going to tell you all of the other nuances to this man's character because you should experience that for yourself when you watch the film. But what I will say is that there are a lot of different angles that are covered with this character. And if that weren't impressive enough, this movie properly develops the other widower that our protagonist befriends.

In fact, this movie reminded me of Hirokazu Koreeda's film "Like Father, Like Son." One of the reason's why Koreeda's film was so compelling was because it explored so many different angles of one scenario so intricately. After that movie was over, it felt like a complete examination of that particular dilemma. "The Long Excuse" has a similar impact. There are so many different ways that this film explores the themes of mourning and redemption. It's really impressive in its intricacy and scriptwriting.

And that includes the dialogue. The characters in this movie have no qualms about stepping up and telling someone their thoughts on situations that are difficult to talk about. There are a few intense exchanges of dialogue where the characters criticize one another in how they're handling this very touchy situation. It's pretty riveting stuff.

The lead actor is Masahiro Motoki, who you may recognize from films such as "Departures" from 2008, "Gemini" from 1999, "The Bird People In China" from 1998, and "Gonin" from 1995. He is phenomenal in "The Long Excuse." It could be the best performance of his career. It's certainly a very difficult role to tackle, with a wide range of emotion to portray. The fact that Masahiro was able to make this protagonist relatable is a huge accomplishment. I love this guy.

The director is a woman by the name of Miwa Nishikawa, who has directed a handful of impressive films in prior years. My favorite of which is a film called "Sway" from 2006. All of her films are worth watching, and I'm looking forward to seeing what she does next.

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