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Lovely, lilting, moving
I really enjoy Hirokazu Koreeda: his ever-shifting camera work, his passion, all the quietness concealing the strong feelings. And that is why I am slowly watching all the movies he wrote and directed. Unfortunately "Our Little Sister" did not go under my skin like the others did. Mostly the fault is his! He set such a high bar with "Still Walking", and it is not easy to reach that tone and perfection again. Some of the fault might be mine as well, being an only child. Films struck cords inside you, and I might be missing this particular cord. Good movie nevertheless.
I cannot figure out why I didn’t hate Our Little Sister. This is the type of movie that I could totally see myself complaining about because it is slow-paced, not much happens, and the small amount of excitement in the film is family bickering. In any other scenario at best I would have been bored by the film, and at worst actively annoyed by it. But there is some kind of magnetic draw I feel to these young women. I cared about them before they even did much of anything. The way they handle themselves in what could be an extremely difficult situation at the funeral was perfect, they were all composed and compassionate. I also love the strength they show in character just by the mere fact that they have managed to take care of themselves for years, without needing support from parents or men. These are beautiful women on the inside and out, so I wanted to go on this journey through their lives. That’s what the experience of watching Our Little Sister felt like to me. It was an opportunity to observe the ups and downs of life with these four women. They didn’t go through major trauma or big life-changing events, but even the small changes impacted me because I cared about them. What set this film apart from other family dramas of this type is the pure love between the sisters. It is so rare to see a group of women portrayed on film without them constantly bickering about petty things, fighting about men, and stabbing one another in the back. These sisters were individuals, but they also functioned as a unit together. I felt the warmth of affection, and the decades of familiarity between them all. Even when one of them does have a bad day, or struggles with something serious, they are supported by their sisters instead of criticized. Our Little Sister is a simple film and it was entirely pleasant to watch. Ranking on my Flickchart Wins against Mad Max: Fury Road Wins against Manhunter Loses to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Loses to Glengarry Glen Ross Loses to Ordet Loses to Safety Not Guaranteed Loses to The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming! Loses to Roxanne Loses to Red River Wins against The Big Heat Loses to Sleuth Our Little Sister ranked 394 out of 1589
I am not one to watch a foreign language film, but this film is beautifully filmed and directed. I found the film positively captivating. I gave 4 stars as opposed to 5 only because the acting was not the best and the film was a light in story. But the overall plot was fantastic and I truly enjoyed seeing the four sisters grow.
warm and heartfelt with a flowing story and involved acting.
This movie was quite boring. To me, the background is the only great part
Wow, left me with such a lovely warm feeling. Best pick me up movie I’ve watched, possibly ever. Will restore your faith in humanity, and it does all this without sickly cliches or schmaltz.
Kore-eda makes mature family dramas that are filled with warmth and sensitivity, not as serious as Ozu often got and with less rancor and hurt than Naruse let in. Perhaps things sometimes get too mushy, as the films yearn to touch your heart, but they never lose their grasp on realism. Our Little Sister, based on a manga called Umi-Machi Diary, shows us three sisters, abandoned by their parents but living fine under one old roof in Kamakura, Japan, who take in their younger half-sister when their father dies up north. We observe their relationships with each other, with the boys/men in their lives (relegated to bit parts), with their absentee mother, and with the dying owner of a local café. Loss, betrayal, forgiveness, and our common humanity are on display. The four actresses (some who are popular celebrities in Japan) create distinctive characters with different foibles and trajectories, although the plot does not bring any of these trajectories to a resolution. We partake in this slice of life. All the while, Kore-eda creates sublime images, often in the quiet spaces between scenes, and Japan looks stunningly beautiful (cherry blossoms, fireworks, and all).
A proof of Koreeda's mastery. Perhaps it's not going to be a classic, but it will be a personal favorite for many. And somehow, I think it's better that way.
A slow (but not sluggish) walk alongside a family that speaks to the soul about the human experience of family.