Tag Archives: Hirokazu Koreeda

Like Father, Like Son Movie Review

Featuring: Masaharu Fukuyama, Machiko Ono, Yôko Maki, Rirî Furankî, Keita Ninomiya, Shogen Hwang
Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Writer: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Movie website: www.ifcfilms.com/films/like-father-like-son

2013-14 Lotterywest Perth Film Festival season dates:
Somerville: 31 March–6 April, 7.30pm
Joondalup Pines: 8–13 April, 7.30pm

Reviewer: rolanstein
Verdict: A gentle, superbly written and extremely moving family drama from a master of the form.

Ryota (Masaharu Fukuyama) is an ambitious and driven Tokyo architect whose work demands leave him little quality time for his wife Midori (Machiko Ono) and 6-year-old son Keita (Keita Ninomiya). Out of the blue comes the shocking news that Keita is not theirs, having been switched at birth. They meet up with the Saikis, the family who received their true son, Ryusei (Shogen Hwang). The parents (Yoko Maki and Rirî Furankî) are an unaffected couple of modest means with several other children. The families agree to take back their genetic sons, and Ryota insists that there be no further interaction between them. However, the child swap does not go smoothly, and he is forced to re-assess his priorities and parenting approach.

Director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s previous films include the heart-rending Nobody Knows and the thoroughly charming I Wish. Disappointment so often follows high expectations, but not here. In Like Father, Like Son Kore-eda has yet again delivered a gentle, masterfully written and extremely moving family drama. Continue reading Like Father, Like Son Movie Review

I Wish Movie Review

Featuring: Koki Maeda, Ohshirô Maeda, Ryôga Hayashi, Yui Natsukawa, Joe Odagiri, Hiroshi Abe
Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Screenplay: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Website: www.magpictures.com/iwish/

2012-13 Lotterywest Perth Film Festival season dates:
Somerville 1-7 April, 7.30pm

Reviewer: rolanstein (one-word verdict: charming)

12-year-old Koichi (Koki Maeda) lives with his mother (Yui Natsukawa) and grandparents in the volcanic-ash-ridden town of Kagoshima, while younger brother Ryu (Ohshirô Maeda) resides with their muso father (Joe Odagiri) in the north. A new bullet train line is soon to open, linking the boys’ towns. Taking inspiration from a rumour that wishes will be granted if made at the moment the new trains pass each other at full speed the first time, Koichi determines that this is the opportunity for him and Ryu to be reunited. The boys and their respective friends, each with wishes of their own, set about raising money to travel to the mid-way point of the new line, and arranging an escape from school coinciding with the bullet trains’ debut journey.

Director Kore-eda demonstrated a special affinity with his child actors in his heart-rending 2005 film, Dare mo shiranai (Nobody Knows). Again, he’s drawn out the very best in the kids who feature in I Wish. Koki Maeda is outstanding as lead character Koichi, ably supported by real-life younger brother Ohshirô Maeda as Ryu. The adults all do their bit too, but this gentle, whimsical, charming little film belongs to the younger members of the cast. Continue reading I Wish Movie Review