Kore-eda listens to his characters' inner thoughts with the attentiveness of a piano tuner, and reveals them with the lightest inferences.
Stream Still Walking
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Its modest surface belies the depths of a lovely seriocomedy that concisely lays bare all kinds of uncomfortable dynamics in seemingly casual, low-key fashion.
An usually insightful rendering of an ordinary family, Hirokazu Kore-eda's contemplative Japanese drama is the sort of movie that makes its greatest impact long after you've seen it.
We are in the presence of a new classic.
This is life as it’s lived, not dreamed. And this is a family bound not only by sorrow, but also by a shared history that emerges in 114 calibrated minutes and ends with a wallop.
Quite aside from Shinto transformation parables or Buddhist reincarnation teachings, the final scene shows how family wisdom is conserved and recycled. It's a moment that might elicit a smile or a tear, or perhaps both.
Painful family issues are more likely to stay beneath the surface, known to everyone but not spoken of. Still Walking, a magnificent new film from Japan, is very wise about that, and very true.
Koreeda, talented director that he is, never allows the story to sink into soap-opera melodrama, and he refrains from pointing fingers.