If you’re a fan of sweet movies about siblings (Emma J., I am peering at you through the Internet), I Wish is the movie for you. This Japanese movie by the director Hirokazu Kore-eda follows two brothers who are separated because of their parents’ recent estrangement, and who plot to get back their family back together.
Koichi, the older brother lives with his mom and grandparents in Kagoshima. In the opening scene, he is seen cleaning his room of the volcanic ash that falls daily in the town. As he tells his friends later at school, he just doesn’t get why anybody would want to live in a town that is so close to a volcano. Nor does he understand why his parents have separated, and he and his brother have to be apart. Frustrated, Koichi devises a plan to get his parents, and family back together.
Ryu, the younger brother, lives with his father. He has adapted a lot more easily to his new situation. He can’t go see his mother or his brother at the moment, as he explains to them, because he has just planted fava beans.
The chemistry between the brothers, and the brothers and their friends, is the movie’s most endearing quality to me. Because the adults in their lives are all somewhat “benignly neglectful,” as my sister puts it, they form their own family of sorts. At home, they are all all capable and independent, but with their friends, they reveal their desires, dreams, and vulnerabilities.
As I was writing this, I had to keep on deleting anecdotes, because there are so many lovely little unsuspecting moments in this movie that catch up to you as you are watching it. You’ll just have to go watch I Wish. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment when you do.
The movie is now playing in New York and Los Angeles.
P.S. Happy Mother’s Day Mom! If you’re reading this, go watch this movie, you’ll really like it, I promise. Also, I saw a trailer for A Cat in Paris, which is an animated French film that will be released in the summer. It looks adorable. We’ll have to go see that, too, when I’m in LA!
P.P.S. This is one movie where hearing the subways rumble by you at the Angelika Film Center is quite fitting!
P.P.P.S. Joseph, Joyce was wondering if you ever wanted a brother. “Because, you know, we have one of each,” she said. I said, “It probably doesn’t EVEN CROSS HIS MIND. Maybe if he sees this movie.” Am I right?? Also, we decided that the older brother looks like you. It’s the hair! I guess, we think everyone looks like you, including Tim Duncan.