Most helpful positive review
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Not as good as Summer Wars, but then what is?
on 28 July 2014
Version I saw: UK DVD release (subtitled)
Actors: 7/10 Plot/script: 7/10
Photography/visual style: 7/10
Wolf Children is the third film from director Mamoru Hosoda, after The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars. The latter is an
incredibly difficult act to follow, and although Wolf Children does not quite come up to that standard, it gives it a damn good try and comes out with plenty of credit.
It's a mythic story, drawing on Japanese folklore stories of wolves that could take on human appearance. This idea is transposed to modern Japan, where it is played out as a love story between a young university student and a mysterious man who turns out to be a wolf. They have children, and then he is forced away, leaving her to raise the children by herself.
Family is a major theme of what follows, and as in Summer Wars, the family relationships really have the ring of truth about them, to me at least. This is clearly a strength of Hosoda's work, and that of writer Satoko Okudera. Interestingly, their perspective seems to have shifted between the two films, from that of the youths to that of the parents. Everyone grows up, I suppose.
For my full review, see my independent film blog on Blogspot, Cinema Inferno: http://cinemainferno-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/wolf-children-2012.html