>>> Our Little Sister is quiet but deserves attention

Hirokazu Kore-eda's latest film finds entire worlds in the microcosm of one family


OUR LITTLE SISTER (Hirokazu Kore-eda). 128 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (July 22). See listing. Rating: NNNN


If you’ve experienced the highs of Hirokazu Kore-eda’s cinema – in After Life, Nobody Knows or Still Walking – you might find Our Little Sister a bit lightweight. I even felt that way when I first saw it at TIFF last fall.

After their father dies, three adult sisters (Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa and Kaho) invite their teenage half-sister Suzu (Suzu Hirose) to live with them in their home outside Tokyo. 

Nothing much happens other than some scheduling issues around who takes a bath first. Life goes on. Kore-eda may be adapting Akimi Yoshida’s contemporary manga Umimachi Diary, but he’s working in the classical style of Yasujiro Ozu, finding entire worlds in the microcosm of one family. 

This makes for a methodically paced, quietly moving experience – and, yes, some might find it tedious. 

I argue that the movie fulfills its goals and tells its story with modest, unfussy grace. Sometimes that’s enough.

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