Niels Matthijs (Onderhond)’s review published on Letterboxd:
A film split in two parts, each tackling a different season. Little Forest is part drama, part food porn. So much in fact that the drama feels more like filler, while the structure of the film is explicitly set up around the presentation of different dishes. If you ever feel like watching a film to de-stress, this is a perfect candidate.
After the death of her mom, Ichiko returns to the countryside. City life isn't for her, instead she prefers to be surrounded by nature, looking around for edibles and turning them into delicious dishes. With a little help from her neighbors and the townsfolk, Ichiko quickly adapts to her new life.
Beautiful images of the Japanese countryside, a light and breezy soundtrack, loving closeups of pots and pans and a lot of tasty-looking dishes. It's all very soft and idyllic, though I have to say that 120 minutes was a bit much for me, especially since there's virtually no drama to speak of. Just dishes.