A charming Japanese take on that hoary old chestnut, the reclusive widower who regains his spark with the help of an unlikely youngster. The loner in question is Katsuhiko (Koji Yakusho, so effective as the samurai chief in ‘13 Assassins’), a small-town lumberjack with a slacker son whose life takes an unexpected turn when he helps out a team of filmmakers making a post-apocalyptic zombie flick. The young director, Koichi (Shun Oguri), suffers from such a crippling case of self-doubt that he’s almost catatonic, but sturdy Katsuhiko is on hand to offer advice and support.
Third Window’s DVD and Blu-ray release features deleted scenes and cast interviews, but the real draw here is the film itself: with likeable performances, lovely photography and a nice line in quiet humour, ‘The Woodsman and the Rain’ is a cosy, understated gem.
Cast and crew