January 18, 2008
Netflix DVD
141 Minutes
Hirokazu Koreeda

…based on a true story. Four children of flighty freewheeling woman, none older than 12, are left alone in a one-room apartment in a Japanese city. They are left with money, but are not allowed to go outside for fear of discovery. Very touching, deliberately paced, with unique camera angles. The kids are adorable and natural and their tiny neighborhood becomes another character as we follow the 12-year-old Akira around as he does errands as the head of household. Not particularly uplifting. This may be the worst Japanese mother ever portrayed in film…

~Best Actor of 2004 for Yuya Yagira — Cannes Film Festival

8.8 Metacritic
8.2 IMDB


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Written by Michael W. Cummins