Being a Japanophile, finding out that Our Little Sister
was playing at The Charles, I wasn't going to miss out on it. I read about it probably late this past winter. If it was about an imouto, then I am there. It is and it isn't. It is very Japanese. I wanted to be enchanted by it, but it was fine.
Our Little Sister is about 3 sisters who upon attending their estranged father's funeral invite their younger half-sister to live with them in their maternal grandmother's home. Their offer is generous and heart warming as it comes off the cuff as they boarded a train. The younger sister accepts. She doesn't have a father anymore and she doesn't want to impede on her father's third wife. No family ties, so she wants to make them with her older sisters.
The film goes flitting about stories and moments for the sisters in the house. It is a true slice-of-life movie as there isn't much of a plot or much of drama to propel the story. There is no one story arc, but that of showing the sisters being a family. The mother comes back to bring some drama, but she is too flighty of a person to stir up the home.
It may be titled (in the English) for the little sister, but the main protagonist was the eldest. She was an Ozu female - burdened with being true to the family and to liking the matriarch position. The second was the wild one always drinking. I would love to drink with her. The third, the original imouto, was pleasingly young, an imouto if there isn't one.
I dug the film because it reminds me of Ozu. His explorations of the family dynamics, tradition keeping, and old versus young in Japan fascinates me to no end.
A side note: I've seen one movie from the director, Hirokazu Koreeda, already: Nobody Knows. That one was a harrowing tale of a mother abandoning her children and letting the eldest, 13 year old, attempt to keep his siblings alive. It had a Grave of the Fireflies kind of thing as the ending made you sad...
3 of 5 stars.
Labels: movies, review