Lise’s review published on Letterboxd:
Sadly I do not belong to the group of people who have great admiration for this film. While the last hour was fairly interesting, probably because it centred on the only three characters I cared about (the father, the daughter and the young boy), I struggled to find something, anything in the first couple of hours that was of interest. All I could come up with were 3 scenes as well as any time spent with Ota, the Japanese business man.
1. The dinner and karaoke scene with Ota, especially when he wonders why it is we have a tendency to be afraid of anything new, and yet we wake up every morning to a completely new day without being afraid.
2. The scene in the car where the boy wonders if we only ever know half truths because we can't see what is going on behind us.
3. The scene where the daughter, sitting by her grandmother, wonders if she forgot to take the garbage out, causing her grandmother's stroke.
In those first two hours I had extra coffee, chips, anything to prevent boredom or sleep. I even took a short break at each hour hoping it would refresh me a little.
It isn't that it is a terrible film. It is well made, the acting is good, and there are some pretty neat camera shots and perspectives (through windows, through open doorways, through security cameras). The pacing was nice and slow, which I tend to prefer. The main issue I had with the film is that I found it outright boring. If you like family dramas that tend towards soap operas then this is the film for you. Not so much for me.
The last hour was much better, but then again I played mind tricks with myself. At the 2 hour mark I pretended that I was now going to be watching a 1 hour film. Maybe that helped, although I think the last hour really was much better.
I really wanted to love this one. I'm sure it deserves a higher rating because it truly is an accomplished film, but since it belongs in my personal list of films I badly wanted to turn off, I can't justify anything higher.
Part of the Sunday Mornings with Coffee series.