Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
In Tokyo, the reckless single mother Keiko moves to a small apartment with her twelve years old son Akira Fukushima and hidden in the luggage, his siblings Kyoko, Shigeru and Yuki. The children have different fathers and do not have schooling, but they have a happy life with their mother. When Keiko finds a new boyfriend, she leaves the children alone, giving some money to Akira and assigning him to take care of his siblings. When the money finishes, Akira manages to find means to survive with the youngsters without power supply, gas or water at home, and with the landlord asking for the rental.
A heartbreaking tale of abandonment and survival, Nobody Knows takes a more extreme view on the mistreatment of children; but it's one that remains grounded in reality, showing how neglect can take away a childhood in an instant and replace it with experiences that no child should be subjected to.
Nobody Knows opens with the family in question moving into a new apartment. Only the mother and Akira, the protagonist, are known about by the other residents and only Akira is allowed outside. Even though the mother acts irresponsible, having had the four children via four different men and not allowing them to go to school, the family are content and happy as they are shown eating dinner and playing…
To make something so beautiful, so tender out of something so tragic and heartbreaking takes a real skill. Hirokazu Koreeda has perfected it.
Not since Elephant Man has a film had this much of an emotional effect on me, it actually made me feel quite sick in my stomach in the last half hour and in the last 15 minutes or so I realised I was holding my breath.
The young actors have left me gobsmacked at how flawlessly they performed, they say very little but their every action makes you empathise with them that little bit more. Akira's scenes when he remembered how to behave like a child again were particularly touching but when the sucker punch comes, the…
Damn you, Hirokazu Koreeda, for making this film. Now I won't be able to get these absolutely heartbreaking scenes out of my mind.
No... I'm not really «damning» the director. He's made a tremendous film. The way he handled the children is almost beyond comparison, I think its some of the best child performances I have ever seen. Koreeda also manages to show us the small moments of joy that children are able to experience even in the darkest of situations.
What really worries me is that a real-life incident in Tokyo inspired Koreeda to make this film. I guess reality is more cruel than fiction - few could have invented this story.
Director: Hirokazu Koreeda (Second Film)
Nobody Knows is a film based on true events; true events which are far more heartbreaking and disturbing than anything that happens here, but this film is every bit as heartbreaking because Koreeda presents it in a way that makes it all seem okay: as if they're getting by but slowly, and subtly the lights start to go out, the water stops running and their money starts to clatter as notes become coins and hope becomes a mere slither of a mother's dress.
This isn't a film that relies on startling moments of depredation but on the closeness of everything; the tightness of everything within the closely knit group of children abandoned by…
Yuki: ''No, I'm gonna meet mommy at the station.''
Kyoko: ''She's not coming home today.''
Yuki: ''I'm sure she's coming home today.''
A fully realised vision of the resilience of children over the course of a year based on the 'Sugamo child-abandonment incident' from the late 1980's, in which a mother of four children to two different father's abandons them as she flits around like a sexual butterfly, sending them money intermittently to prove she 'cares'. Hirokazu Kore-eda proves once again the breadth of his talent as a storyteller by immersing us into the world of a quartet of children whose mother is a selfish cunt, and he does so with such a light touch and restraint from heavy-handed melodrama,…
"I'm not allowed to be happy?''
How can your own flesh and blood say that???
Koreeda channels Ozu aka the Master of Simplicity and pays tribute to Hitchcock in a slow burn thriller sequence which had me in knots...Had this been in the hands of another director it would have turned into loud and cliched consequences but instead it becomes a restraint,effective and thoughtful experience. Well deserved winner of Best Actor at Cannes.
A devastating story told with great naturalness and compassion, and with an emphasis on small details that speak volumes. The soothing music is an ironic counterpoint to the upsetting story unfolding onscreen. It's also notable that no characters ever yell at each other or even raise their voices. The film falters down the stretch and begins to feel a bit long, but it's still well worth your time.
At the beginning of this Japanese drama there was a note that said (even though the story was based on the 1988 event known as the "Affair of the four abandoned children of Sugamo") that all the characters were fictional. I am not sure if that was there just for legal reasons or it was fctual, because the director Hirokazu Koreeda with the help of the stars Yūya Yagira, Ayu Kitaura, Hiei Kimura, created such a believable realistic movie, that it felt like something we were all part of.
The actual story of four children: Akira, Kyōko, Shigeru and Yuki, who are aged between five and twelve is a story of family bond and lack of it... all the children…
Nobody knows when will my heart recover after watching this bleak, morose and poignant coming of age that is as scary as reality. Yuya Yagira conveyed so much innocence and maturity that he basically anchored this Japanese melodrama and bought it into several heights.
Dare mo shiranai (2004)
Wrote this piece for Wonders in the Dark's Childhood Countdown
While based on an impactful true story that happened in Japan during the twilight years of the 1980’s, the film quickly comes forward and presents itself as based on those events but entirely fictionalizing what was already an unbelievable, and much more grimmer story. A family arrives to an apartment complex: a mother and his 12-year old son arrive to present themselves to the tenants, and later their luggage and furniture is put in place inside their new apartment, but along comes the surprise and trick that three other kids are hidden inside big luggage cases, the other kids of this woman who have to…
Kids need an adult to take care of them and this film takes true events of a family of kids left by there mother to look after themselves in Japan. The eldest brother does pretty much everything for them but in the end is this acceptable?, no it's sad and feels immensely real and the amount of personality the lead kid actor has is amazing. For some reason it didn't quite come across as a 5/5 but it's surely great and essential.
Going in with some background of this story and the case that inspired it, I was really dreading this film. Not because I thought it would be a dreadful experience, I had a feeling I would love it anyway, but because I have an aversion to the suffering of children. And watching a film where a mother practically abandons her four children to live on their own with little money or assistance doesn't really have me rushing to pop in into the DVD player. Regardless, this is a tender, humane, and beautifully poignant film.
What's surprising though is how Koreeda makes everything at first seem ok, despite the awful predicament these children are in. Sure, the heartbreaking moments are there,…
Finally got to this one. I remember in ’03 or ’04 hearing people raving about it; many of them not spoiling what made it so great. Might be why it took me a while to watch it, as I hadn’t been told in a concrete way why it was something to remember. All I had to go on for the last ten years is that it was about a group of Japanese children who are abandoned by their mother and have to fend for themselves. Not cheerful stuff, so it doesn’t scream to be watched on a causal Saturday morning.
Finally getting passed all that, Kore-Eda Hirokazu’s “Nobody Knows” is a jaw dropper. Powerful with a feather light touch, it’s…
A single mother secretly moves her four children into a cramped Tokyo apartment, desperate to keep her family together. However her absences become more frequent and it's left to 12 year old Akira (Yûya Yagira) to look after his siblings. Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, Nobody Knows takes its inspiration from true events to create a moving portrait of group of kids struggling to get by in the most challenging of circumstances. Kore-eda is a master of coaxing honest performances from young actors, and the result is another engrossing and deeply affecting movie.
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…