Movie Suggestion XIX – Like Father, Like Son
Original Title: Soshite chichi ni naru
Country: Japan – 2013
Directed by: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Official website: http://soshitechichininaru.gaga.ne.jp/
Plot: “Ryota Nonomiya is a successful businessman driven by money. When he learns that his biological son was switched with another child after birth, he must make a life-changing decision and choose his true son or the boy he raised as his own.” – IMDB
I was expecting this movie with much anticipation as it was directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, the same director from some phenomenal movies such as Nobody Knows, Still Walking and I Wish. I expected nothing less than an extraordinary movie. Sure, I had very high hopes and once again I wasn’t disappointed.
The website “The American Spectator” states that “Like Father is a less brutal and single-minded movie than Nobody Knows. It’s more argumentative — parents who have struggled to get their kids into the very best kindergartens may feel a sting in the depiction of the Nonomiya style of helicopter parenting, the exaltation of a child’s judgment over a parent’s, and the idealization of the poorer-but-happier Saikis — and it has unfortunate gaps, like the sketchy characterizations of the mothers. But Like Father has some of the striking Koreeda trademarks: the extraordinary acting from the children; the symmetrical framing and musical pacing; and the shifts between long shots in which all the people look tiny and child’s-eye shots where all the people look huge.”
“Never one to resort to grand theatrics, Koreeda navigates the emotional minefield of Like Father, Like Son with subtle, unhurried direction, weighing up both sides of the equation without casting judgement or providing clear-cut answers. His portrayal of children remains progressive; though undeniably cute, they’re light years away from shriller, more saccharine Hollywood counterparts, their impressively naturalistic performances on par with all the adult actors.” (flicks.co.nz)
“Like Father, Like Son extends the Japanese cinema tradition of familial exploration to deliver a gentle and moving story of personal redemption that playfully navigates its way through the drama.” (Rotten Tomatoes/ IFC Films)
“This is a profound and remarkable work, and like Still Walking, it reasserts Koreeda’s place among the ranks of the world’s greatest living directors — vis-à-vis Kiarostami, Saura, Leth, Tarr, Weerasethakul, Sokurov, and de Oliveira. He is an international treasure, and Like Father provides ample evidence of that fact.” (Nathan Southern – tvguide).
This is a stunning, beautiful, poetic movie that truly needs to be watched!April 24, 2014