Like Father, Like Son 2013

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(24) IMDb 7.8/10
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Hirokazu Koreeda writes and directs this Japanese drama starring Masaharu Fukuyama. Hard-working businessman Ryota (Fukuyama) has found success both in his professional life and at home where he has a loving wife and a six-year-old son. When he receives the devastating news that the child he thought was his was actually accidentally switched with another baby when he was born, Ryoto has an almost impossible decision to make. As he begins to question his role as a father he must choose between the boy he has raised and the son he has never known.

Starring:
Y鬕o Maki, Masaharu Fukuyama
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 2 hours 0 minutes
Starring Y鬕o Maki, Masaharu Fukuyama, Isao Natsuyagi, Jun Fubuki, Lily Franky, Yoko Maki, Sh么Gen Hwang, Y么Ko Maki, Jun Kunimura, Kirin Kiki, Machiko Ono, Megumi Morisaki
Director Hirokazu Koreeda
Genres Drama
Studio Arrow Films
Rental release 5 May 2014
Main languages Japanese
Subtitles English
Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 2 hours 0 minutes
Starring Y鬕o Maki, Masaharu Fukuyama, Isao Natsuyagi, Jun Fubuki, Lily Franky, Yoko Maki, Sh么Gen Hwang, Y么Ko Maki, Jun Kunimura, Kirin Kiki, Machiko Ono, Megumi Morisaki
Director Hirokazu Koreeda
Genres Drama
Studio Arrow Films
Rental release 5 May 2014
Main languages Japanese
Subtitles English

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Rob Simpson on 2 Dec. 2013
Format: Blu-ray
Hirokazu could never been accused of being a stylist, his films are traditionally Japanese in their minimalism. In that regard he champions something much more interesting - substance. He takes a vague topic like 'what does it mean to be a father?' and takes it in some trite narrative directions that work consistently thanks to the emotional truth weaved into his script. There were countless occasions where I laughed at the simple headed honesty of the kids only to be fighting off tears in the next scene. That ability of Hirokazu's to capture the wonderful innocence of childhood is second to none. LIkewise, his ability to evoke tragedy and beauty in the simplest of gestures isn't far behind. Film of the Year material.
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Format: DVD
Could you give up your son if you found out he wasn’t yours, after nurturing him for six years from birth? Thats the question posed to two couples in Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s new film ‘Like Father, Like Son’, who found out that their sons were given to the wrong families in the hospital.

One family consists of Ryota (Masaharu Fukuyama) and Midorino (Machiko Ono), father and mother to their only son Keita (Keita Ninomiya). Ryusei (Shogen Hwang) is the other son, whose father and mother Yukari (Yoko Maki) and Yudai (Lily Franky) also have two more young children. The hospital officials arranged the first of many meetings between the two couples. After getting over the shock of what happened, the adults began negotiating with each other over the fates of their sons.

Both sets of couples couldn’t be any more stereotypically different. Ryota and Midorino are a well-heeled conservative couple with a sensibly behaved son to match their elegantly co-ordinated lifestyle. The jovial Yukari and Yudai are a more personable, care-free version of the former couple who believe family comes first and to hell with anything else. This collision of opposites starts off a bad reaction in the much more judgemental Ryota, an extremely pompous architect who thinks that only the ones who focus and work the hardest deserve anything in life. By now your own mind is hurtling through various thoughts on what you would do, which is carefully realised in this film. Is the conclusion inevitable? Everyone but Ryota seems to know what should be done, and the film focuses on his troubled and often quietly appalling behaviour.

Yukari and Yudai accepted that Ryusei was different to themselves and their other children.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By O E J TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 May 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a Blu-ray only review - no additional DVD is provided. The dialogue is only in Japanese, and the only subtitles are in English.

A little boy named Keito lives with his parents in a luxury apartment in Tokyo - at least, that's what the three of them have been assuming for the past 6 years. His father is a successful and hard-working architect who wants his son to go the best private school, his parental priorities aimed at securing the boy's long-term success. So consumed is he with his work that, although he is not yet conscious of it, he has never really spent much time with his son and although it's undoubtedly a happy household, father and son have never truly bonded. Then comes devastating news from the hospital where Keito was born. He is not their son at all.

This is an intelligent, moving and thought-provoking drama that is likely to make you wonder what you would do in the same situation. Although there are four parents involved, the emphasis of the story is on the evolving reactions of Keito's father. In many ways it's a learning experience for him, not in the obvious sense of discovering that his son is not his own, but in the ways in which he gradually comes to realise what being a father should be, and how different this could be from his previous concept of fatherhood. The acting is outstanding across the cast, including that of the two 6 year old boys, the script is spot-on and while it gives each person the chance to give vent to their different emotions it is never melodramatic and at all times utterly convincing. The story opens a window into two very different worlds of parenthood, in essence represented by a couple who have a lot of money and another who have very little. There's much more to it than that, however.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Farrer on 17 Dec. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This wonderful Japanese film deservedly won the 2013 Jury Prize at Cannes. It is the most natural and touching film I've seen this year.
Two boys are placed with the wrong parents just after birth and we join the two families when the boys are six and lawyers are trying to unscramble the mix-up.
Wealthy and ambitious Ryota and Midori have been rearing the biological son of easy-going and biophilous Yudai and Yukari who have themselves raised the hard-driven couple's young boy in a more loving and laissez-faire atmosphere.
Hirokazu Kooreda's direction teases superb acting from the whole cast, including the children. We become so enmeshed with the families that we don't so much 'watch' them as live with them through their dilemma.
This stunning naturalistic film explores so much more than the well-worn nature/nurture debate. It details the personal cost of arch ambition, the meaning of love, duty, attachment and separation.
For me the film turns, not on the axis of the fathers (who tend to dominate screen time) but on the quite extraordinary skill of the two women who must resolve an almost impossible puzzle. In these roles Yoko Maki and Machiko Ono both deserve Oscars.
Peter Bradshaw (Guardian) described the film as "undemanding". I completely disagree, it is compelling viewing. My vote goes with the Jury.
The film will be available from Feb. 2014.
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