Seen This Week: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Secret of Kells (2009), People Like Us (2012), I Wish (2012), Oslo, August 31st (2012).
There were some Peter Jackson epics, some animated absurdities, some Captain Kirk in romantic comedies to hold me over until the next Star Trek: Into Darkness trailer, and most importantly, some truly beautiful foreign films.
Movie Pick of the Week: I Wish (2012)
Well what’s it about
Twelve year old Koichi and his younger brother, Ryunosuke, have been separated due to their parents’ divorce. Koichi lives with his mother and retired grandparents in the southern region of Kyushu, Japan. Ryunosuke, however, lives with his musician father in the northern area of Kyushu, making it almost impossible for visits between the two brothers whose only real interactions are by cell phone calls. Koichi, the more somber of the two, is determined, aided by a child’s naivety, to reunite his family and to live as a happy unit. Upon discovery that there will be a new bullet train track that will link the two towns, he convinces himself, his friends and his brother that if they witness the two trains as they pass each other, a miracle that they desire will come to be.
Okay, but why should I watch it?
There is a joyous, youthful energy that commands the attention of the audience. Lead by real life brothers Ohshiro and Koki Maeda, the film allows it to be driven by their exuberant performances. It’s whimsically scored and acted by two young actors that possess the demeanors and physicalities of two young boys still pondering the wonders and atrocities of life, all the while regarding it with a cynical, old soul vision. They’ve grown up too fast due to their home situations but because of their familial sadness have relied on friendships and the escapism that they can provide. Shot and written by Hirokazu Korreeda, this film makes great use of its naturally, visually stunning landscapes and made sure to allow the silhouettes of children so young, and so innocent, walk against the backdrop of the volcano that’s always smoking, and the vastness of the plains. It’s a film about children, but the story is for adults. Adult decisions have impacts on younger generations, and it’s that narrative that is beautifully wrought into a form of expression that is subtle yet gripping. You should watch it because it employs everything that independent films do well, adding an extra element of depth.
Who should watch it?
Fans of foreign film that have had difficulty finding ones that will grip their attention. It’s for individuals who aren’t looking for a hyper-stylized, violent or sexual film and just want one which focuses on family and every day struggles. It’s for those who aren’t scared off by the notion of subtitles, and it’s for those of whom who, genuinely speaking, enjoy good films and are trying to watch as many 2012 based films as possible.
If you’re any of the above, lucky you, because it’s still on Netflix Instant Watch.