Unlike this film, life is nothing but disappointment. This is the discovery made by an elderly middle class Japanese couple as they visit Tokyo for the first time to see their children and grandchildren, only to find they do not have room in their busy lives to send time with their parents.
Shot with an unmoving camera set at sitting height from the floor, this largely encompasses the family’s conversations, discussing everyday life, but it is often the occasional periods without dialogue that are more moving, and say more than any could.
There is a sense of finality throughout, as though the couple know they are unlikely to see their children again, and it is difficult after watching this film not to pick up the phone and call your own parents. Surely a film that makes us want to at least try to be better people, and live up to the expectations of others cannot be a bad thing?
Choose life 9/10