6.5/10
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Close-Knit (2017)

Karera ga honki de amu toki wa (original title)
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 »

Director:

Naoko Ogigami

Writer:

Naoko Ogigami (screenplay)
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6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tôma Ikuta Tôma Ikuta ... Rinko
Mugi Kadowaki ... Yuka
Eiko Koike Eiko Koike ... Naomi
Kenta Kiritani ... Makio
Noriko Eguchi Noriko Eguchi ... Kanai
Misako Tanaka Misako Tanaka ... Fumiko
Rin Kakihara Rin Kakihara ... Tomo
Mimura Mimura ... Hiromi
Shûji Kashiwabara Shûji Kashiwabara ... Yoshio
Tôru Shinagawa Tôru Shinagawa ... Saito
Lily Lily ... Sayuri
Kaito Komie Kaito Komie ... Kai
Fûto Takahashi Fûto Takahashi ... Young Rinko
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Storyline

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 of Hiromi and has lived with Rinko, a pretty girlfriend. Actually, Rinko is a transwoman. She works as a caregiver in a nursing home where Makio's mother Sayuri who suffers from dementia is living. Rinko makes a delicious meal and sometimes cuddles Tomo. She is a little confused, but Tomo, Rinko and Makio start to live a life together. One day Rinko teaches Tomo to knit to control her temper. Rinko was also taught by her mother at the age of puberty when she struggled with her sexuality. A daughter neglected by her mother. A gentle uncle and his transgender lover. An angsty boy who recognizes a sense of himself as a gay - A warm "knitting" reorganizes unconventional family. Written by The Nikkatsu Corporation

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

25 February 2017 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Close-Knit See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The late singer and actress Lily's last film. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Month in Movies: March 2018 (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well-made and sweet
3 June 2018 | by Evil_HerbivoreSee all my reviews

Usually I don't like stories told from a child's point of view, as I find them annoying. Close-kint is a notable exception. The story is fairly simple: a 11-year-old's mother disappears, so she goes to live with her uncle and his transgender girlfriend. And so a whirlwind of emotions begins.

The main characters in the movie are all lovable. Tomo is confused with her new living situation and particularly with Rinko's trans identity, but she is willing to learn. Rinko herself is kind and welcoming. Rinko's boyfriend and Tomo's uncle Makio is a loving partner and a caring foster parent. The family they create for themselves is a heartwarming picture.

But of course the movie also shows the other side of not conforming to the standards of the society. I can't claim to know much about Japanese society, but I think a person like Rinko would face a discrimination almost anywhere in the world, and it is important to show this kind of prejudice and violence.

The pacing of the movie is a great respite form all of the fast-paced blockbusters. The movie takes its time in order to show all of the emotions experienced by the characters. This allows the viewers to connect with them on a deeper level.

Yet another strong suit of the movie is the acting. I've only seen a few Japanese movies, so I don't know the actors, but they all create memorable and believable characters. Rin Kakihara is great as 11 years old Tomo and even though I usually don't care for child characters, she won my heart. Another wonderful performance is Tôma Ikuta as Rinko, who despite being a cisgender male plays a completely believable transgender female with all of her vices and virtues.

There is a number of really good transgender-related movies, but they usually end with someone's death or some other tragedy. There is also a number of uplifting transgender-related movies, but they are usually not very good in terms of the story they tell. Close-kint is both. It is a really good piece of filmmaking and it is quite uplifting. Even though the ending isn't very happy, it isn't tragic either and I was left with a fuzzy warm feeling after watching the movie.


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