Broker ★★★★

“Seeing you makes my heart feel a little more at ease.”

I think I appreciate Kore-eda’s lack of subtlety here (a sentence you’d be hard-pressed to find from any Kore-eda fan, or even most cinephiles). If Still Walking was so close to life that its almost boring, Broker is partly an overtly self-explained drama. I love it for that. Not because it’s abrasive, but because of its sentiment and revealing emotionality. I feel it more. That isn't to say its DNA isn’t still distinctly Kore-eda, even as his second departure from his native language. It still speaks softly; quiet conversations and small looks are what make the movie, thriving in his touchstone empathy where compassion is used to seek understanding, instead of the other way around.

It’s soul food for a road trip (or 오뎅 on a stakeout), reconciling the ways we’re broken with the hard choices that we’re forced to meet. I find comfort in this kind of gentle touch—this level of infectious kindness and understanding despite it all. These little genuine moments of a half-cobbled-together family blanket a cold reality with the warmth of life. A clunky plot beat aside, this may well be the most touching movie of the year.

An umbrella for when you dream of rain.

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