[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
• NISHIKAWA Asako
• YOSE Akihiko
[ Cast ]
• MOTOKI Masahiro KINUGASA Sachio
• TAKEHARA Pistol OMIYA Yoichi
• FUKATSU Eri KINUGASA Natsuko
[ Staff ]
• Original Story: NISHIKAWA Miwa
• Screenplay: NISHIKAWA Miwa
• Cinematography: YAMAZAKI Yutaka
• Sound Recording: SHIRATORI Mitsugu
• Editor: MIYAJIMA Ryuji
[ Production Company ]
BANDAI VISUAL, AOI Pro., TV TOKYO, Asmik Ace, Bungei Shunju, TELEVISION OSAKA
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
[ Production Studio ]
Release Date: October 14, 2016
Running Time: 124 min
Screening Format: DCP
Screening Format with Subtitles
・English (DCP, Blu-ray, DVD)
[ Story ]
Romance starring Motoki Masahiro from Departures with original story, script and direction from Nishikawa Miwa of SWAY. A bestselling author discovers the joys of living for others after his wife dies and he spends time with children who have lost their mother.
Bestselling author Kinugasa Sachio’s (Motoki) wife dies in a freak accident. He was cheating on his wife at the time of the accident and has to put on a fake performance as bereaved husband. Sachio meets Omiya (Takehara Pistol), whose wife died in the same accident, and offers to help take care of his children.
[ Official Site ]
[ Film Festivals, Awards ]
• 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, Special Presentations
• 2016 Busan International Film Festival, A Window on Asian Cinema
• 2016 Rome Film Fest
The first sequence of the film there’s a man who wants to have a hair cut with the hair dresser. He is facing in the mirror and she is behind it. They chatting, you can sense a connection for a relationship. The peculiarity, which is striking, is that their looks always seem to cross outside the frame or in the frame of the mirror and anywhere that introduces a dissonant note. There’s aa sense of distance in the fabric of dialogue. The man is often taken up in the foreground and the figure of her is in the background and an image framed in the reflective frame.
The writer / director Nishikawa Miwa (who began her career as an assistant to Kore-eda Hirokazu, and whose last film is Dreams for Sale 2012) presents the characters of the story, taken from her novel inspired by the tragic events of 2011, telling us already a lot of them. Kinugasa Sachio is a famous writer, a self-centered man, who betrays his wife Natsuko, the woman who is cutting his hair. Shortly thereafter, however, and just as he is in the company with his young lover, he received the news of the sudden death of Natsuko, involved in the accident of the bus on which he traveled with a friend, and will have to deal with the new situation determined by the tragic loss, maintaining the appearances of a happy marriage (which, in fact, was no longer with Natsuko).
A film that gravitates around an absence, and as often happens in Japanese cinematography is inspired by death and the need to come to terms with the sense of loss, to analyze human relationships. Natsuko’s tragic absence reveals the unstable balance between pretension and feeling of the relationship between husband and wife. In addition, following the efforts of Sachio in helping the other widower (her friend’s husband) with young children, he also introduces the family theme, which in this case (clear reference to the question of family structures non-institutional films of several Kore-eda films, such as Father and Son or Our Little Sister) take the form of an “extended” family with two sons and (almost) two fathers.
The style is very controlled (note the presence of Yamazaki Yutaka, director of photography) in this that is in all respects a family drama, in which the writer’s relationship with the children of the new friend give life to ironic and even tender moments , above all thanks to the skill of the two children (who remember certain “wise children” of the films of the aforementioned Kore-eda).
The character of Sachio, played by a convincing Motoki Masahiro (we had seen him as the main protagonist in Departures, Oscar-winning film of 2009), is a selfish, empty man. It is also definitely a liar, a character trait that seems to unite several of the film characters designed by the director over time. Mind to his wife, but also to see himself: the title refers to the “long excuse” represented by the care of his friend’s children not to face the gap of loss of his wife, which was still an important reference on his life.