Memories of Tomorrow (Ashita no kioku) (2007)
After being stricken with Alzheimer's disease in the prime of his life, a successful young businessman slips slowly away from his loving family in director Yukihiko Tstusumi's poignant family drama. Saeki (Ken Watanabe) is about to launch what promises to be the most successful advertising campaign in his burgeoning career. In addition to his astonishingly fast ascent up the corporate ladder, Saeki's beautiful young daughter is about to be married, and he will soon become a youthful grandfather. Though his long hours on the job always prevented Saeki from truly connecting with his family, Saeki's wife Emiko (Kenji Sakaguchi) remains staunchly committed to both their family and their relationship as husband and wife. With time fast running out for Saeki and the past gradually converging with the present in his rapidly-deteriorating mind, the unconditional love offered by his supportive family offers an intimate look into a disease that, despite it's prominence in virtually every culture, still goes largely misunderstood. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi … More
as Masayuki Saeki
as Emiko Saeki
as Naoya Ito
as Rie Saeki
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Critic Reviews for Memories of Tomorrow (Ashita no kioku)
Ken Watanabe makes his character's whirlwind of fear, anger, and defeat painfully immediate.
Memories of Tomorrow is the first movie I've seen about the disease that is told from the sick person's point of view.
Watanabe brings ferocious commitment to the sort of role that many an American awards body has been known to champion.
This would be a totally manipulative disease-of-the-week movie, were it not for Tsutsumi's gentle direction and Watanabe's intense performance.
The script's subtler nuances are too often drowned out by awkward histrionics.
Tear jerking comes with the territory, but the filmmakers generally rise above formula, particularly in its depiction of the central marriage.
This heartfelt tale of disintegration and acceptance, seasoned with family devotion, will both raise and soothe the anxieties of those of us who regularly ask ourselves why we came into the kitchen two minutes ago.
A Japanese film that draws out our respect and compassion for a man whose life is turned upside down by the early onset of Alzheimer's.
Veers regularly into disease-of-the-week territory but is rescued by the powerhouse performances of Ken Watanabe and Kanako Higuchi.
Sensitively directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi from a well-constructed script.
An outstanding perf and a methodically constructed script about the early onset of Alzheimer's disease makes Japanese meller Memories of Tomorrow an emotionally gripping experience.
Of course, it's no surprise that a melodrama would be melodramatic. But that doesn't mean it has to be graceless, and grace, that virtue most characteristic of Japanese film, is what Memories of Tomorrow completely lacks.
Audience Reviews for Memories of Tomorrow (Ashita no kioku)
Wow . . . This film and Letters from Iwo Jima came out within a year of each other . . . Gotta say that makes for one heck of a productive period for Ken Watanabe. Short of actually being a documentary, this is about as "real" as a film can be. Whether or not you have lived with someone in any stage of Alzheimer's, this one will definitely and very painfully ring true-to-life. A brilliant performance by Watanabe as he moves deftly through the stages of the disease. I have to believe that Watanabe has either experienced loved ones going through this horror himself, firsthand, or that he is indeed one of the greatest actors working at the present time. This is one where the actor's motivation is coming from his soul. And it's a great cast all around. Absolutely devastating.Thinking about it again, I have a feeling that people who have experienced a disabling condition themselves can develop an empathy with others who suffer in similar ways. Perhaps it's Ken Watanabe's own battle with leukemia that makes him more attuned to persons with disabilities in general. This is a must-see, flixster friends. Not only must I add Watanabe to my favorite actor list, but I must also put this film on My Top 100 list right now.More
Apparently a better translation of the title is Remembering For Tomorrow, which works a lot better as it's a drama about a Japanese businessman discovering that his increasing lapses of memory are really the early onset of Alzheimers. Set over the next few years,everything - his job, his relationship with his wife, his self-assurance- gets overturned as the disease takes hold. The soundtrack is truly dreadful (unless you love violins) but the acting is genuine and the story is heartbreaking...get the hankies in before you watch.More
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