Posts Tagged ‘i wish’

Critics Roundup — May 10

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Dark Shadows |Yellow||Green|Red|Green
God Bless America (limited) |||Green|Green|
I Wish (limited) ||||Green|
Under African Skies (limited) ||||Green|
Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish (NY) ||||Yellow|
Where Do We Go Now? (NY, LA) |Green||Red|Yellow|
Patience: After Sebald (NY) |||Green||
You Are Here (NY) |||Green|Green|
The Cup|Yellow||||
Steve Jobs: Lost Interview|Yellow||||

Review: I Wish

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

I Wish
, a tale of two young brothers separated by their estranged parents who wish for their family to be reunited and happy, is a rare gem of a little film, the kind of film adult cinema lovers will enjoy for its quiet beauty and keen understanding of childhood, but that older kids might appreciate as well. While writer-director Hirokazu Koreeda has clearly made a film about children intended for adults, I Wish could also be a great choice for introducing older kids to a film with subtitles — and to the concept that a story about kids doesn’t have to be action packed or have aliens or zombies or lots of explosions to be worth watching. The themes here around family, loss and forgiveness are universal, and kids from any culture can easily relate to the ways in which we grownups complicate their young lives.

Koichi (Koki Maeda) and his younger brother Ryu (Oshiro Maeda) have separated for six months, with Koichi living with their mother on one end of the island and Ryu on the other with their father. The two boys maintain communication via cell phone conversations which are so well-conceived they could be used in a master class on how to write this kind of dialogue. It’s heart-rending and lovely, as is almost everything about this film. When a new bullet train line is built, the two brothers get it in their heads that at the very moment the opposite trains pass each other for the first time, you can make a wish and it will come true. With a pack of friends eager to make their own wishes, Koichi and Ryu try the only way they can think of to reunite their family.

It’s a simple enough story, but Koreeda’s writing makes it delicately complex as he interweaves subplot and character to create this realistically flawed, yet hopeful family. I always think it’s rather ballsy for a writer-director to filter a feature-length film through the perspective of a character who’s a child. It’s a tricksy thing to pull off, relying on a kid (or kids) to carry your entire film, but Koreeda also displays an able hand working with his engaging young actors, who charm in every frame.

TIFF’11 Preview: Galas and Masters

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Next week the Toronto International Film Festival will kick off, and cinephiles, film critics and industry folks will be running amok all over downtown Toronto, rushing to get to screenings and saying things like, “Hey, I’d love to chat, but I’m rushing to get to the new Cronenberg! Catch you for drinks later?” And sometimes the drinks happen, but often they don’t because you’re just tired from seeing four or five films and you still need to write about them.

Every year, I try my darnedest to carefully plot and plan my schedule, only to have this or that throw it awry. So this year, I’ve decided to try something different. I’m using the TIFF preview as a way of narrowing down a list of the films I really want to see, and then I’ll look at the press schedule each day and catch as many of them as I can. If there’s two playing opposite each other (usually the case), maybe I’ll coin flip or something.

To kick things off, here’s a look at the films I’m most interested in seeing from the Gala, Masters and Special Presentation sections of the fest; more previews of the other sections will be coming shortly.