Adult offspring of a retired couple return to the family home to commemorate the anniversary of the death of the eldest son 15 yrs earlier and revisit old issues and resentments.
Brilliantly reworking Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story, this is a scathing satire on Japanese manners beneath whose surface solicitude and substratal seething lies a thin layer of genuine affection. Retired doctor Yoshio Harada may be openly rude to his underachieving offspring as they gather to remember their dead brother, but his disapproving muttering lacks the wounding sharpness of hospitable wife Kiki Kirin’s casual asides.
Discreetly photographed by Yutaka Yamazaki and complemented by Gontiti’s charming guitar score, the action unfolds like an intricate origami creation to reveal its bittersweet secrets before being restored to its superficial perfection.
Subtle and multi-layered film-making with compelling performances.