"I think this is Kore-eda’s best film - which pretty much means I think this might be the best film ever made."
Tara Judah, Watershed Cinema Producer
A career highpoint for Kore-eda, this lyrical and profoundly moving family reunion drama is one of the director’s most personal works to date, created as a tribute to his late mother. It depicts one summer’s day in the life of the Yokoyamas, gathered together for a commemorative ritual.
The now-grown children are visiting their ageing parents, who have lived in the family home for decades. Both son and daughter have brought their own families along with them, to commemorate the tragic death of the eldest son, fifteen years prior. Although the roomy house is as comforting and unchanging as the mother's homemade feast, everyone over the prevailing years has subtly changed, revealing a typical dysfunctional family, bonded by love as well as resentments and secrets.
Rather than focus on big dramatic moments, Kore-eda relies on simple gestures and domestic routines (especially cooking) to evoke a family’s entire life, its deep regrets and its daily joys. An extraordinary portrayal of the ties that bind us, it’s storytelling of the highest order, and this gentle, lovely film is impossible to watch without a lump in the throat.