Masafumi Nishida is well known as a scriptwriter and novelist. He’s penned successful TV series like Jikken Keiji Totori and Afuro Tanaka, and in 2012 he published the eponymous novel on which this flick is based. He also converted it into a stage play starring the same two leads last year. Nishida now makes his directorial debut with a story about an awkward and endearing pair of siblings who’ve lived together and relied on each other since their parents passed away when they were young.
Reminiscent both in theme and atmosphere to the wonderful Yoshimitsu Morita film The Mamiya Brothers (2006), Susumu Onodera (Osamu Mukai) is now 33, and his older sister Yoriko (Hairi Katagiri) has hit 40. They’re totally comfortable around each other—perhaps too much so—and show little sign of any desire to have romantic relationships in their lives. When a letter is misdelivered, it sets off a chain of events that changes their lives and opens them up. Sweet, funny and charming, this yarn unspools in a delightful way. English title: Oh Brother, Oh Sister. (114 min)