Like Father Like Son web

Like Father, Like Son 15

Soshite chichi ni naru

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DIRECTOR Hirokazu Kore-eda
CAST Masaharu Fukuyama, Machiko Ono, Yôko Maki, Rirî Furankî

In this rich and rewarding drama, Kore-eda has found a fresh perspective on one of the great themes of Japanese cinema – family. When a successful businessman discovers that his six-year-old son was switched with another boy at birth, he must make a life-changing decision and choose his true son or the boy he raised as his own. A charming and deeply moving study of fatherhood.
(2013 Japan 121 minutes Subtitled)

BBFC advice: Contains infrequent mild sex references
Detailed advice from the BBFC (click on BBFC insight)

Acclaimed Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s heartfelt drama tells the tale of a success-driven father who learns that the son he has raised for six years is not his own due to a clerical error at the hospital where the child was born. Faced with the decision of raising his biological son or the one he has fathered since birth, Ryota begins questioning everything he has ever known about being a father.

While the adults attempt to sort through the conflicting bonds of blood and water, the children flow from family to family like intermingling streams of effervescent life. As before, Kore-eda’s facility for casting and directing young performers is spine-tingling; watching these children as they watch their parents is utterly mesmerising, reminiscent of the finest work of the Dardenne brothers; unobtrusive, intuitive, instinctive. Equally impressive is the refusal to reduce any of the adults to stereotypes – while a cliched contrast between wealth and austerity beckons, Kore-eda invests his characters with believable flaws and strengths, regardless of class and situation. Even the nominal “villain” of the piece (the nurse responsible for the switch) is given a sympathetic hearing – a lost soul with her own parental issues. The result is a deceptively rich and rewarding drama, small of gesture, huge of heart.  Mark Kermode, Observer

UK RELEASE 18 October 2013
RUNNING TIME 121 minutes
COUNTRY Japan
LANGUAGE Japanese

Official film website and trailer
IMDB film information