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Like Father, Like Son(そして父になる)

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Japan · 2013
Rated G · 2h 1m
Director Hirokazu Kore-eda
Starring Masaharu Fukuyama, Machiko Ono, Yoko Maki, Lily Franky
Genre Drama

Ryota Nonomiya is a successful businessman driven by money. He learns that his biological son was switched with another child after birth, and he must make a life-changing decision and choose his true son or the boy he raised as his own.

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What are people saying?

Meagen Tajalle Profile picture for Meagen Tajalle

Lily Franky is endlessly watchable, and the paternal mischief that he brought to and perfected in Shoplifters seems to have originated in this wonderful film. Kore-eda has said that in writing he finds himself preoccupied by the question, "What makes a family?" and this film explores that question with great depth and thoughtfulness while focusing on the insular worlds of the two families at its center, whereas Shoplifters is primarily concerned with the relationship of the family unit and each member to the outside world. Kore-eda again gets incredible performances from child actors, performances that greatly enhance the film.

Nikita Chinamanthur Profile picture for Nikita Chinamanthur

I recently rewatched this film and cried at least three times. Again, Kore-eda is just a master of the simple, quiet moments. This film is heartwrenching and the children just capture your attention every time they're on screen ("Yamato desu" trills the Saikis' youngest child). Each character is beautifully developed and no frame is ever wasted.

What are critics saying?


Slant Magazine by Andrew Schenker

The film scores all of its thematic points early, commenting intriguingly, if ultimately rather obviously, on the demands of Japanese patriarchy.

62 by Calum Marsh

The film is starved for the kind of nuance Kore-eda wields effortlessly elsewhere. What’s left without it is something merely schematic.


IndieWire by Eric Kohn

The story works wonderfully as an idea, but Kore-eda never quite manages to infuse it with the same depth of feeling his main character goes through.


Time Out London by Guy Lodge

There’s typical grace and good humour in Kore-eda’s handling of this all-but-impossible situation. But the film’s critical lack of dramatic nuance undercuts its emotional resonance.


The Playlist by Kevin Jagernauth

Hirokazu has crafted a warm and lovely film that suggests the easiest thing about raising a child is embracing how complicated it can be.


Variety by Maggie Lee

The director retains his controlled style even as he moves toward a more traditional narrative mode.


The Telegraph by Robbie Collin

Kore-eda has crafted a piercing, tender poem about the bittersweet ebb and flow of paternal love, and his status as Ozu's heir becomes ever more assured.

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