Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
After being fired, a father hides his joblessness from his family.
Japan’s master of horror Kiyoshi Kurosawa “effortlessly switches gears” with Tokyo Sonata, said V.A. Musetto in the New York Post. In this “stark social drama,” Ryuhei, a middle-aged salaryman, loses his job but carries on his daily routine in order to keep the shameful truth from his family. He eventually takes a job cleaning toilets at a department store, “a fate that proves fatal to Ryuhei’s pride.” In Kurosawa’s hands, “modern life is more frightening” than any horror film, said Maggie Lee in The Hollywood Reporter. He uses the microcosm of Japanese family life to show the effect that his country’s financial crisis has had on its society as a whole. The film moves along “with the pacing of a thriller,” and Kurosawa packs even the “smallest scenes with dramatic significance.” Even as the family falls to pieces, Kurosawa keeps “his composition in harmonious play,” said Manohla Dargis in The New York Times. Well-crafted and sensitively told, his film should prove to have a “canny and timely resonance” not just in his homeland but everywhere.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Bush vs. Clinton in 2016 is the perfect way to make millennials hate politics even more
- The latent sexism of the male marriage proposal
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- This judge is the reason we're still fighting over net neutrality
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- 10 things you need to know today: November 28, 2014
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- Why the poor can't catch a break on Thanksgiving
Subscribe to the Week