maker Hirokazu Kore-eda (shown below), that will not resonate clearly and strongly to American movie-goers. This film -- about three generations of Japanese mixing it up at the grandparents'
home over a two-day period meant to honor the life and death of a fallen son -- is so rich in incident and feeling, and so humane in its understanding of the needs and desires of all three generations that it engulfs an audience quickly and nearly completely.
From the initial scene of cooking, with a mother and daughter exchanging a recipe, gossip and a deftly placed insult or two, all the details seem natural and right. This scenes leads into another that introduces the grandfather, and again, the details are spot-on. Exposition is expertly buried in dialog that creates character deftly, line by line (both for the speaker and the spoken about). Before we know it, we're neck-deep in the lives of everyone on view -- chuckling, wincing and feeling for them as we might our own family. Hirokazu has given us two other worthwhile films, After Life and Nobody Knows, but neither comes close to the heavy-duty identification factor embedded in this one -- for obvious reasons.
are courtesy of Out Now! Image Gallery.