I knew nothing about this film, or its director, before choosing it to alleviate the boredom of a transatlantic flight. I am very, very happy I did.
The story of Haru no yuki is simple but engrossing; its development: meticulously polished; the characters interesting, though not complex. The relationship of Honda and Matsugae is especially compelling. Matsugae is the only truly complicated persona on the scene, and this really is his movie. Satoshi Tsumabuki does an admirable job.
Though the film is not entirely satisfying (I can't quite pin down why), it is very stirring and, in the end, damn pleasant to look at.