Plot: Forty-years old architect Yokoyama Ryota returns to parents' home with his new wife Yukari and a ten year-old stepson to hold a memorial for the eldest brother, Junpei, who died in a accident fifteen years ago. Chinami - his younger sister is there already and her husband Nobuo soon arrives with their children Satsuki and Mutsu.
To his father, Ryota can never compare to Junpei and he never tried to hide a disappointment that Ryota did not also follow in his footsteps and take over the family clinic. Even after retire father spends all days in his office, pretending to attend to patient records despite his clinic being closed. Likewise, Ryota's mother carries years of frustrations and disappointments, she still is not able to forgive a guy who unexpectedly caused the accident where Junpei died saving his life - every year she invites him to attend the anniversary and remind sufferings the poor fellow brought with own survival.
2009 - Asian Film Awards - Best Director (Hirokazu Koreeda)
2009 - Blue Ribbon Awards - Best Director (Hirokazu Koreeda), Best Supporting Actress (Kirin Kiki)
«Kore-eda is a marvellous director of actors and a true heir to the rich tradition of family dramas in Japanese cinema. ... Still Walking makes a striking similarity with Olivier Assayas' Summer Hours. The French film is very much of its time, with toddling and inquisitive camerawork. But Kore-eda has achieved a stronger sense of character, place and time within a work of considerable poetry.»
«Kore'eda, writes dialogue that could have been transcribed from a tape recorder at an ordinary family get-together, while scrupulously avoiding audience cues to pull out the hankies. Instead he produces moments of what might be called heightened awareness — when a key phrase or exchange makes obvious what had been hidden or implied, like firecrackers going off with a flash and a bang.
«Despite such unpleasant moments -- while allowing them their good sides, Kore-eda doesn't shrink from painting the elders just as Ryo sees them -- "Still Walking" is often quite funny, and suffused with warmth even amid discordant notes. This family's relationships are compromised, probably for keeps, but not broken.»
«Koreeda is magician-like in his ability to make the tiniest detail -- a butterfly, a flower, a glass of iced tea, a glance -- seem huge. He is without a doubt one of the world's most sensitive filmmakers, and his powers, as seen in films such as After Life, Nobody Knows, Hana, and now Still Walking, are peaking.»
«Koreeda maintains a serene equilibrium as the air of mortality hangs over the living even as they bask in the lazy tranquility of summer. During a stroll to the cemetery, a long tracking shot of Ryota, Yukari and Atsushi climbing steep steps turns into a visual trope for life itself.»
«Thematically the film will bring to mind another recent Japanese film, “Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad” which just so happens to also star Kiki Kirin, but “Still Walking” is a stronger film, more real film, and ultimately more fulfilling film. »
«Because Mr. Kore-eda writes realistic characters rather than the self-actualized types you often find in the movies, they rarely express themselves with blunt force and never with perfectly scripted paragraphs detailing every slight. It’s this restraint rather than any change in volume that makes their brief displays of florid emotion so effective.»
«The way Koreeda films – mostly discreet shots of the family’s cramped suburban house – makes most directors look blind to the possibilities of locating ideas in mundane imagery, such as a drawer left slightly open, a butterfly entering the house, or cherry blossom blooming in the garden.»
«Subtle and multi-layered film-making with compelling performances.»
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