For Reel

Our Little Sister (2015)
October 8, 2016, 12:26 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
2.5 Stars
our-little-sisterAfter the death of their father, three sisters (Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, and Kaho) invite their half-sister (Suzu Hirose) to live with them in their family home in director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest family drama. If their history is fraught with emotional turmoil (their father left with another woman and as a result their mother became complacent), the day-to-day conflicts of the sisters at this stage in their life is of the episodic sitcom variety—whether or not to take a new job, or how to bridge the gap between wild living and maturity. Kore-eda is not a director who favors overblown dramatic conflicts (his best films, like Still Walking and Like Father, Like Son, concern themselves with tense dynamics that don’t often bubble to the surface), but Our Little Sister is slight and breezy to the point that it all but drifts away. There is never a concern that the sisters will fail to exist in harmony or that the newly adopted step-sister will struggle to adjust—despite the difficulties that they have faced, the film all-too-often revels in their empathetic, loving glances across a dinner table while the melodramatic orchestral score holds the viewer’s hand. The loveliness of it all is fully convincing when the sisters bond over food, plum wine, and fireworks, but it’s hard to feel something for a family’s bond when there is never any sense of a fragility to it.