Walter Andrade’s review:
Awesome picture. I wasn't expecting such a beautiful story.
The movie is set in a waystation where all the souls who just died needs to pass before goes to eternal life.
The great idea is that eternal life here is completly diferent than any other I've seen. When you get to this place, they'll give you three days to choose the best memory you ever had. This will be your only memory for eternity. They'll recreate it in a filme so you will live this moment forever. There is no heaven, as expected, or hell. All the people, good and bad, christian or buddhist, jewish or muslim, they all have the same destiny.
Every week a certain number of people is sent to this waystation, where they'll have assistance to choice their best memory. The company that will make this assistance is built from people who couldn't choose a single memory, and they choose to stand there to help other people till they find something for themselves. Every week those people who work there and the dying souls are presented and their life experience is amplified, for both sides. Kore-eda wrote a beautiful amount of life stories here, without being superficial or creating stereotypes.
Also, as the way to the soul stand forever living that memory is by watching a movie of it, this movie is a dialogue to the importance of cinema in our lives. They make of every person the director of the film they will recreate and it's beautiful to see this happening.
All the week stories are combined to the stories of the people who work there. Their feelings, their thoughts, their memories and the value of life to every one, each one of them as a cherry blossom when losing their petals in order to have just one. Forever.
Technically, the moving camera is very well employed in every single scene, but it looks specially good when the girl, Ishido is angry. The rhythm is always peaceful and worked but some times seems like Kore-eda had to cut some important parts to make the movie not that long.
But this may pass unnoticed. The plot is really amazing and it makes you really get inside the movie. Now I really feel that I need to watch more Kore-eda films.