2016: #8 Our Little Sister

Directed by: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Written by: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Based On: The manga “Umimachi Diary” by Akimi Yoshida
Starring: Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Kaho, and Suzu Hirose
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Rating: PG
Running Time: 128 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Date released: 7/8/2016
Date seen: 10/9/2016
Worldwide Box Office Gross: $531,000
# of Oscar nominations: 0
# of Golden Stake Nominations: 3 (Ensemble, Adapted Screenplay, and Under-rated)
# of Golden Stakes Won: 1 (Under-rated)

Hirokazu Kore-eda is probably the most prominent filmmaker working in Japan right now, at least outside of the genre space, but celebration of his films has been a little muted from cinephiles on this side of the Pacific.  I do kind of get that, Kore-eda is not a guy who’s necessarily breaking down the barriers of cinema and instead tells simple little humanist stories.  This movie in particular is just a year in the life of four sisters who are all living together in relative peace.  There’s not a ton of conflict there, at least not overt conflict, and that could easily make it a movie that not everyone is going to be in the mood for at any given time.  However, the characterization in the movie gets pretty deep and Kore-eda somehow manages to play things just right to keep things entertaining and realistic at the same time.  It might not seem like it at first glance, but this movie might have taken more skill to get right than a lot of the other movies here.

#9 Year End Honors #7