(out of 5)
An elderly couple welcome home their daughter and son and their respective families for a once a year tradition whose tragic nature we come to understand very quickly: it is the anniversary of the death of another son, who drowned while saving a life many years earlier. Hirokazu Koreeda channels Ozu exceptionally well by putting across scenes of conversation that touch as much on issues deep and important as the moments that simply tread on the banal. In short, you feel like you are watching a family, but what you really feel is as if you were watching a family you have a deep, emotional bond with. By the time the young man whose life was saved arrives at their home for his own part of the annual ceremony, there is an element of humour added to the mix that proves the director to be among the most glorious of filmmakers who focus on themes of human co-existence. It’s a masterpiece of a movie, one whose emotions resonate almost from the very beginning, told with a sense of delicacy and balance that is sublime throughout.
Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda
Original story and Screenplay by Hirokazu Koreeda
Cinematography by Yutaka Yamazaki
Music by Gontiti
Costume Design by Kazuko Kurosawa
Film Editing by Hirokazu Koreeda