Features Live Action Movies

Love Life

Director – Koji Fukada – 2022 – Japan, France – Cert. 12a – 123m


A tragedy involving a woman’s six-year-old child, abandoned by his birth father, wreaks havoc on her already strained relationship with the husband she has recently married – out in UK cinemas on Friday, September 15th

A terrific drama about family relationships.

Recently married, young couple Jiro (Kento Nagayama from Villain, Lee Sang-il, 2010) and Taeko (Fumino Kimura) have a six-year-old, deaf boy Keita (Tetta Shimada), a national champion at the board game Othello, which he plays constantly with his mother or with players online. Several of his trophies are displayed in the family’s typical, small, apartment. Jiro’s parents Makoto (Tomoro Taguchi from Fukushima 50, Setsuro Wakamatsu, 2020; Dead Or Alive, Takashi Miike, 1999; Tetsuo: The Iron Man, Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989) and Akie (Misuzu Kanno from 37 Seconds, Hikari, 2019) live in a nearby apartment five or so minutes away across a park and a car park.

Jiro and Taeko invite them over, ostensibly to celebrate Keita’s latest victory but actually for a surprise 65th birthday party for Makoto. The relationship with Jiro’s father is strained on account of Keita’s birth father having abandoned Taeko before Jiro knew her, with Makoto describing her during the party as “second hand goods”.… Read the rest

Features Live Action Movies

Nobody Knows
(Dare Mo Shiranai,

Director – Hirokazu Kore-eda – 2004 – Japan – Cert. 12a – 141m


Four pre-teenage children are abandoned by their mother and left to fend for themselves in their Tokyo apartment. This work of fiction is based on 1988’s real-life Sugamo child abandonment case. Koreeda’s first film with kids is also his first family drama. Twelve-year-old lead Yagira Yuya won Best Actor at Cannes and would go on to a career including Destruction Babies (2016)…

Read the rest at All The Anime where I covered this title as part of the BFI’s Flesh And Blood Blu-ray box set which includes Maborosi (1995), After Life (1998), Nobody Knows (2004) and Still Walking (2008). Also available on BFI Player subscription and to rent on Amazon UK and Curzon Home Cinema.

Trailer (Nobody Knows):