Director: Hirokazu Koreeda. Cast: Yûya Yagira, Ayu Kitaura, Hiei Kimur. 141 min. Rated PG-13. Japan. Drama.
Based on a true story, mother abandons her 12-year-old son and his three younger siblings in a Tokyo apartment to survive on their own. Another one of those instances where cinema miraculously creates empathy for humans living in a distant world thousands of miles away, and the young actor who played the son won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival. But boy ... is this movie slow. At least half an hour could have been cut to reach its inevitable dark ending. But then again, a slow rhythm may be the whole point, to 'feel' these kids' lives.