Superb cinematography by Masao Nakabori, a lovely script, creditable editing by the director, an amazing debut by the director Kore-eda and an unforgettable performance by Makiko Esumi. For me, there were two remarkable sequences--the spare bulb rolling by itself on the table and the funeral procession taken as a long shot (reminding you of "The Seventh Seal" and "8 1/2"). "The Third Murder " is, however, superior.
Kore-Eda is a magic realist of sorts: his utterances of the everyday can cast an entrancing spell, but its a precarious one, porcelain, apt to shatter and reform multiple times across a movie. In those moments, it is transportive, but outside of them I felt kept outside the characters.
Crazy beautiful, quiet, serene and all that >>> and the story is there... then the quietness steps to the front so much that it fails to be sort of humble and be the carrier of the pain of the main character. The film is packed with gems though and it did Japan my soul.
[More like 4.5] Although some scenes might be a bit too long – yet bound to picture's message – the movie itself is outstanding: Kore-Eda used cinematography and music to create the perfect atmosphere to tell the story of how people can be lost in their thoughts regarding the human condition, and how such thoughts aren't always to be avoided. It's an excellent mixture of 80s elements and social traits of Japan.
A story about the inability of a single woman, let alone mother, to express her guilt and melancholia for losing the people she had once loved. Extremely adept at immediately creating a tone of quiet sorrow. A magic realist intake with themes like the "will o’ the wisps" and psychological escapism through naturalism and the Japanese countryside. A beautiful piece of art. Hirokazu Kore-eda is Yasujiro Ozu's legacy.