Upon meeting Koreeda some years ago, I meekly requested his autograph on my DVD of "After Life". He seemed to blush but bowed and signed the case with care. Just before handing it back to me, he paused thoughtfully and embellished his signature with a smiley face. Only a person who exudes that kind of gentle kindness and light whimsy could craft a film like this with sincerity, not schmaltz. :-)
Miserable wretch that I am, I remain partial to Kore-eda's bleaker films (at least to the best of them, Maborosi), but I both loved watching and, well, kind of needed to watch Our Little Sister. I was reminded of the gentlest, least plotted Studio Ghibli films--I wasn't surprised to read in the credits that it's a manga adaptation--full of rich, restorative feeling that regularly risks but rarely succumbs to treacle.
Beautiful and tender. There's something almost Linklater-esque in the way this film rambles along, observing its characters engage with life, with each other and separately. Films like these work best when, like Linklater's, they pulse with a palpable empathy for every soul on the screen. What ultimately emerges here is a multifaceted exploration of independence and self-fulfillment.
[REVIEW] 84/100 - Our Little Sister (Hirozaku Koreeda, Japan)
Simply put, Our Little Sister is a highly pleasant film with cinematic and emotional resonance.
Because Little Sister is just so utterly placid, it is unlikely to be the recent Kore-eda to live longest near the surface of our collective consciousness. However, this may be the first time I have sat in a theatre and arrived at what I believe to be total clarity concerning his project: for Kore-eda the only thing worth truly aspiring to is the not-particularly-exceptional kind of happiness available to us all.
Beautiful, calm and adorable film. made me miss Japan so much! it's very nostalgic (and a bit unrealistic in that way): the old wooden house the sisters live in, even the traditional japanese breakfast (that many Japanese rarely eat anymore), the kindness of the kids in Suzu's school.. a true feel-good-movie that is clever, funny and just beautiful. I really liked it :)