Like Father, Like Son

On VOD:
Like Father, Like Son

Like Father, Like Son.  Rating:  4 (out of 5).  Ryota, a successful architect based in Tokyo, discovers that his six-year-old son, Keita, is not his own.  It turns out that Keita and another baby were switched at birth due to a mistake made by a negligent nurse.  After this realization, the two families are thrown together and forced to make a difficult decision that will test their definition of what it means to be a father.  The film arrives on VOD on Thursday, January 23.  The Christian Monitor writes, ““Like Father, Like Son” ascends to dizzying emotional heights.”

Starring: Lily Franky, Machiko Ono, Masaharu Fukuyama, Yoko Maki
Rating:  Not Rated
Genre:  Drama

 

REVIEWS

 

New York Post writes, “Little Keita Ninomiya plays Keita with such tenderness, while Fukuyama makes Ryota harsh at first, and fills in each step of the man’s progress with precision. By the end, he’s earned sympathy, and “Like Father, Like Son’’ has earned its right to reduce a person to a sobbing wreck.”

The Christian Science Monitor notes, “Despite the film’s emphasis on Ryota’s transformation, the most piercing moment for me came in the scene in which his wife anguishes over her guilt in not realizing right away, as a mother, that Keita was not her birth son. At times like this, “Like Father, Like Son” ascends to dizzying emotional heights.”

According to The New York Times, “In “Like Father, Like Son,” Mr. Kore-eda again creates a pair of irresistible charmers whose lives are, with increasing emotional violence, upended — with polite bows, civilized conversations and hollow-sounding rationalizations — by the very adults meant to take care of them.”

NPR thinks, “Blood lines (and types) are taken very seriously in Japan, where adoption is rare. In that context, Ryota’s evolution seems more notable. When he reaches a new understanding of fatherhood, his emotional arrival is expected — but moving nonetheless.”

Variety writes, “Hirokazu Kore-eda’s reverberant drama is a characteristically low-key treatment of familial bonds, expectations and responsibilities.”

The Village Voice thinks, “It’s charming, gently humorous, and beautifully attuned to the interior lives of children. And in the form of Keita Ninomiya, Kore-eda has a child actor so unbearably cute he’ll make your ovaries ache, even if you’re sporting testicles.”

New York Daily News says, “While some of the class conflict is predictable, the movie wins out by treating everyone as individuals, not types, and maintaining a muted tone. The child performances are stellar, though most striking is how the film’s sympathies spread to everyone.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Though it’s packed with adorable tykes and more than a few strong scenes, even Kore-eda fans may feel a let-down with a lovely film that makes little emotional connection. Still the wit and charm are there and the filming is impeccable, full of wry humor underlining a slightly surreal atmosphere.   “

The Telegraph notes, “Like Father, Like Son captures these children’s inner lives and thought processes so perfectly that what Kore-eda has achieved feels less like direction than a specialised form of wildlife photography.”

The Guardian thinks, “This is a sweet-natured, but essentially undemanding film from Kore-eda.”

A.V. Club gives the film a C+ rating, and further writes, “It’s nearly impossible not to respond on some level to material this emotionally freighted, and Kore-Eda’s understanding of young children is typically astute—both boys take the switcheroo in stride, acting out later in subtle ways—but Like Father, Like Son has the overall depth and tenor of a Lifetime movie. Kore-Eda can do much better.   “

Slant Magazine notes, “Whatever the thematic implications of this setup, the film ultimately faltered in shifting its emphasis to critiquing a situation that could never actually exist.”

IndieWire (The Playlist) thinks, “Inspired by his own taste of fatherhood, Hirokazu has crafted a warm and lovely film that suggests the easiest thing about raising a child is embracing how complicated it can be.”

RogerEbert.com says, “While I’m not a parent myself, I can see how “Like Father, Like Son” would be a tough sit for any parent. Tough, but extremely worthwhile.”

TimeOut New York writes, “Even if you’re not boned up on your classic Ozu family tragedies, see it before Spielberg does his remake.”

Empire Online notes, “Another quiet delight from Koreeda.”

The Dissolve says, “What makes Like Father, Like Son so quietly powerful is that for the most part, it doesn’t traffic in stereotypes.”

According to IndieWire, “The story works wonderfully as an idea, but Kore-eda never quite manages to infuse it with the same depth of feeling his main character goes through.”

Film.com gives the movie a 6.2 rating, and describes it as “Schematic, and starved for Kore-eda’s usual nuance.”

Total Film says, “Although a bit over-neat in its contrasts between the respective families, Like Father, Like Son remains an affecting film, thanks to Fukuyama’s understated turn and Koreeda’s typically graceful visual storytelling.”

TimeOut London writes, “His latest, for all its careful construction and sweet pockets of feeling, is his glibbest and most morally one-sided film to date.”

 

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