This characteristically worldly, affectionate and wryly amusing family drama was this year’s Cannes entry from NZIFF’s favourite Japanese director, Kore-eda Hirokazu. It centers on handsome, charming Ryoto (Abe Hiroshi), a formerly successful novelist who pines for his ex-wife, the pretty Kyoko (Maki Yoko) and his 12-year-old son Shingo (TV actor Yoshizawa Taiyo). Working as a private detective to support a serious gambling habit, he seems an unlikely prospect for re-marriage, but when they are stranded together at his mother’s home during a typhoon, he sees a chance to reunite.
“A young divorced dad tries to get back into the good graces of his ex-wife and son in After the Storm, a classic Japanese family drama of gentle persuasion and staggering simplicity from Kore-eda Hirokazu. As sweet as a ripe cherry at first glance, it has a rocky pit, as viewers who bite deeply will find out... This bittersweet peek into the human comedy has a more subtle charm than flashier films like the director’s child-swapping fable Like Father, Like Son [NZIFF13] but the filmmaking is so exquisite and the acting so calibrated it sticks with you.” — Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter