The films of Hirokazu Kore-eda aren’t flashy, but what they lack in pizazz, they make up for in deep wells of emotion. Fatherhood and family are the resonating themes in his movies of late, in pictures such as the excellent “Like Father, Like Son” and “Our Little Sister,” which debuted at Cannes last year, and opens in limited release in the U.S. soon. The busy filmmaker has already wrapped his next effort, and once again, fathers, sons, and family take center stage.
Dwelling on his past glory as a prize-winning author, Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) wastes the money he makes as a private detective on gambling and can barely pay child support. After the death of his father, his aging mother (Kirin Kiki) and beautiful ex-wife (Yoko Maki) seem to be moving on with their lives. Renewing contact with his initially distrusting family, Ryota struggles to take back control of his existence and to find a lasting place in the life of his young son (Taiyo Yoshizawa) — until a stormy summer night offers them a chance to truly bond again.
Syrupy trailer aside, this looks like another effort from one of our favorite directors that will hit all the right notes. “After The Storm” is expected to find its way into the Cannes Film Festival lineup this spring, and it opens in Japan on May 21st. No word yet on a U.S. distributor or release date.