Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 2hr
Hirokazu Kore-eda, master of the family drama, attains new heights with this Palme d’Or-winning, and Best Foreign Language Oscar nominated tale of compassion and understanding.
Osamu (Lily Franky) plays the father-figure to a motley group of impoverished outcasts. His wife Noboyu (Sakura Ando), the teenage Aki (Mayu Matsuoka) and elderly widow Hatsue (Kirin Kiki) have meagre incomes that barely sustain their makeshift family. To make ends meet, Osamu takes Shota (Kairi Jō), his son, on regular shoplifting excursions. Returning one night, they find Yuri (Miyu Sasaki), a child, trapped outside her apartment and, in a fit of compassion, abduct her from her abusive parents. After initial reluctance, the others agree to adopt Yuri. Osamu inducts her into the secrets of shoplifting and the group comes to resemble a happy family. But with Yuri’s face plastered over the news and unspoken secrets lurking, disaster threatens to destroy their domestic idyll.
Kore-eda’s work recalls that of Ken Loach and Yasujirō Ozu, director of the celebrated Toyko Story. With his naturalistic style, he lays bare the lives of his world-weary characters. But with understated tenderness, he also affords them the sympathy they deserve, serving up a new Tokyo Story for the modern age.
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