A formerly successful novelist tries to reconnect with his ex-wife and young son in this affectionate, shrewdly observed drama of family life from Japan’s unassuming master, Kore-eda Hirokazu (Our Little Sister).
Screened as part of NZIFF 2016
This characteristically worldly, affectionate and wryly amusing family drama was this year’s Cannes entry from NZIFF’s favourite Japanese director, Kore-eda Hirokazu. It centers on handsome, charming Ryoto (Abe Hiroshi), a formerly successful novelist who pines for his ex-wife, the pretty Kyoko (Maki Yoko) and his 12-year-old son Shingo (TV actor Yoshizawa Taiyo). Working as a private detective to support a serious gambling habit, he seems an unlikely prospect for re-marriage, but when they are stranded together at his mother’s home during a typhoon, he sees a chance to reunite.
“A young divorced dad tries to get back into the good graces of his ex-wife and son in After the Storm, a classic Japanese family drama of gentle persuasion and staggering simplicity from Kore-eda Hirokazu. As sweet as a ripe cherry at first glance, it has a rocky pit, as viewers who bite deeply will find out… This bittersweet peek into the human comedy has a more subtle charm than flashier films like the director’s child-swapping fable Like Father, Like Son [NZIFF13] but the filmmaking is so exquisite and the acting so calibrated it sticks with you.” — Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter
“Kore-eda’s love for his characters, his ability to imbue an exchange or glance with warmth and humor, keeps us watching. You can lose yourself in his films – wondering what’s around every corner, and what’s going on in the mind of even the most minor of characters… He remains one of the best filmmakers the world has.” — Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice