I Wish

Film

Kid-friendly films

Ohshiro Maeda, left, and Koki Maeda in I Wish

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Mon May 7 2012

Japanese brothers Koichi and Ryunosuke (real-life siblings Koki and Ohshirô Maeda) are worlds apart. Not literal worlds: Both boys, who mostly communicate via cell phone, live on the same island—Kyushu—but in separate cities with different parents, the result of divorce. Hirokazu Koreeda’s pleasingly paper-thin dramedy spends much of its first half sketching the disparate lives of the young duo, and of several others around them, in ways that alternate between poetic (Koichi’s teacher pats him on the shoulder with equal parts concern and condescension) and tedious (a cloyingly padded-out plotline about an introverted young girl who wants to be an actor). It’s an uneasy mix of keen verisimilitude and phony uplift—sort of the best of Ozu melded with the worst of Spielberg.

Fortunately, the film improves immeasurably after Koichi and Ryunosuke hatch a family-reuniting plan that involves making a wish at the exact point when two bullet trains pass each other. With a clear goal in sight, the movie suddenly takes on an engrossing urgency. Shots of the kids and their friends running around unfamiliar environments have the fantastical qualities of Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are, minus the forced whimsy. And the quest builds to a beautifully knotty resolution that makes you wish Koreeda had found a way to completely excise the earlier mawkishness.

Follow Keith Uhlich on Twitter: @keithuhlich

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Release details

US release:

Fri Feb 17, 2012

Duration:

128 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Nene Ohtsuka, Ohshiro Maeda, Koki Maeda, Yoshio Harada, Joe Odagiri

Director:

Hirokazu Kore-eda

Screenwriter:

Hirokazu Kore-eda

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4 / 5

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Diane Snowa

"I Wish" embraces the thin line, representative of Japanese art form. Consider their flower arrangements or pen-n-ink drawing. The simplicity embraces the lives of the children. The slower pace embraces the pace of childhood.(Didn't you want to grow up faster?). The wish for a miracle is the Hope with which we all live. I loved this film.