Single mum (father of child dead) from the country with 6th grade boy comes to Tokyo, leaves the boy to live with his uncle's family - wife, male, female teens, run a struggling greengrocer... See full synopsis »
This is a bit sad but great. Think Kes, the Railway Children and other great children's classics. There's sadness but never sentimentality because children just have to deal with what happens to them.
Here, the kids have single parents, other kids get at them, there's uncertainty and dislocation. Responsible adults can be unfair and ignore or deceive their children. Still, they make friends, have interests and pastimes and are often looked after by friendly grownups, even if their parents aren't perfect. As ever, the strong group culture of Japan, as portrayed, is supportive, even if sometimes oppressive.
The filming is wonderful, not a redundant interior or exterior shot in the pacey 78 minutes and the acting is great by all concerned. Several locations are used well and tied together with street and travel scenes.