I Wish

June 12, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Posted in 2012 | Leave a comment

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The latest film by my favorite Japanese director, Hirokazu Koreeda.  Two of his last four films have been at the top of my list that year (“Nobody Knows” was #2 in 2005 and “Still Walking” was #1 in 2009).  While I greatly enjoyed this film, it does not quite match up to the quiet brilliance of those two, perhaps because it lacks the utter bleakness of the former film and the devastation of the latter.  That said, it captures the melancholy of growing up in a way few American films can.  The story tracks two preteen brothers who live in different cities as a result of their parents’ divorce and their efforts to see each other again.  This story is then overlaid with a whimsical story about the magic that occurs when two Shinkansen (bullet trains) pass each other.  It is lightly sweet and funny throughout and almost felt a little too weightless for me.  However, the bittersweet realism of the ending was redemptive; nothing changes, we just get better at dealing with it.

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