Soshite chichi ni naru (Like Father, Like Son)

Poster for Soshite chichi ni naru (Like Father, Like Son)

Winter 2014 Features series

Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 4:00pm
Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 7:00pm

Acadia Cinema's Al Whittle Theatre
450 Main Street, Wolfville, NS

Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda

Screenplay by Hirokazu Koreeda

Starring Yôko Maki, Masaharu Fukuyama, and Machiko Ono

Rated NR · 2h 0m

View trailer

Soshite chichi ni naru (Like Father, Like Son)

This poignant new drama from acclaimed Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-Eda (Nobody Knows) tells the heart-wrenching story of two sets of parents whose worlds are turned upside down when they learn that their six-year-old sons were switched at birth.

Ryota and Midori Nonomiya (Masaharu Fukuyama and Machiko Ono) live with their only child, Keita, in a modern Tokyo highrise. Ryota is an ambitious architect who puts in long hours climbing the corporate ladder; Midori is a loving, if docile, stay-at-home mother who carefully monitors Keita’s academic and cultural education. After discovering the truth about their son, the Nonomiyas suddenly find their lives populated with a whole new cast of characters. Their birth son, Ryusei, is being raised by the easygoing Yudai and Yukari Saiki (Lilye Franky and Yoko Maki). In stark contrast to the Nonomiyas, the Saikis and their three children live outside the city in a modest apartment above the family’s appliance shop. While Keita practices piano before bedtime, Ryusei plays in the bath with his siblings and watches his father tinker with his toys. Both couples are hesitant to force an abrupt environmental and emotional change on their families, but soon engage in socialization, including swapping boys on weekends.

Like the work of a seasoned symphony conductor, Kore-Eda’s direction is at once gentle and powerful, favouring small, tender moments over a single dramatic incident. Japanese pop star Fukuyama delivers a moving performance as the reserved Ryota, whose soul-searching about what it means to be a father lies at the heart of the film. Although framed in a Japanese cultural context, the questions Kore-Eda poses around parenthood and “nature versus nuture” are universal. Like Father, Like Son reminds us that any definition of family needs to be constructed around unconditional love, first and foremost.

“Evoking naturalistic performances from everyone involved (the kids are a pure delight), and with a welcome dose of humor, along with the requisite humanity he’s known for, Kore-Eda Hirokazu’s film is a touchingly low key, a wholly charming study of the evolution of parenthood. Like Father, Like Son suggests that being a Mom or Dad is a position of constant change, one that requires an open mind and even more open heart. But more crucially, it must be coupled with a willingness and excitement to be changed by offspring that will grow into their own person; a reflection of their parentage but also the world around them. Inspired by his own taste of fatherhood, Hirokazu has crafted a warm and lovely film that suggests the easiest thing about raising a child is embracing how complicated it can be.” (Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist)

“Another quiet delight from Koreeda.” (Simon Crook, Empire)