One of the best movies of the year (for one of us) is Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Our Little Sister. The story centers on three sisters—a nurse, a bank employee, and a sales clerk—who, after the death of their father, invite their half-sister to live with them. While based on a manga graphic novel, the movie is not exactly exciting. Brushes with death, disease, debt, and forsaken relatives are presented in a low-key way to advance the character arcs of the sisters. There’s no mission in the movie, no victims trying to get over on their victimizers. There is trauma, but it’s subtly teased out and unmelodramatic. Above all, the movie is beautiful, from its quartet of actresses to a stunning bicycle ride through the cherry blossoms.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White