Tokyo Sonata (2008)

Tokyo Sonata (2008)

A masterful drama where a father slowly yet surely loses control over his family

The Very Best

8.2

Movie

Hong Kong, Japan
Japanese
Drama
2008
KIYOSHI KUROSAWA
Ayako Sugiyama, Denden, Hajime Inoue
120 min

What it's about

A young boy takes interest in piano while his family begins to disintegrate around him after his father loses his job.

The take

Known for his horror films, Kiyoshi Kurosawa shifts gears and presents a family drama in Tokyo Sonata. In the film, father Ryuhei, who’s expected to be the breadwinner, loses his prestigious job and chooses to hide his firing from his family. While this premise isn't overtly scary, the film understands the terror of being unable to maintain the current comforts of your family. And the consequences: lose your status (at best) or your life (at worst). Teruyuki Kagawa’s performance crystallizes that sense of losing control, as each expression on his face betrays how secretly afraid Ryuhei feels. The disasters that this family faces threaten to never stop, and Kurosawa executes them perfectly through excellent story structure and performance.

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