Like Father, Like Son

Like Father, Like Son

(Soshite chichi ni naru)
(2013)

Cannes Jury Prize-winning drama from Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda (I Wish, Still Walking) about a hard-working father devoted to living the perfect family life. But that ideal is shaken when he and his wife are told that their 6-year-old boy Keita is not their son – they were given the wrong baby after the birth.... More

"Ryota [the father] is forced to make a life-changing decision, to choose between nature and nurture. Meanwhile, seeing Midori’s devotion to Keita even after learning his origin, and communicating with the rough yet caring family who raised his blood son for the last six years, Ryota also starts to question himself: has he really been a father all these years." (Cannes Film Festival)Hide

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Flicks Review

Perhaps Japan’s finest cinematic chronicler of familial dynamics since Yasujiro Ozu, Hirokazu Koreeda has crafted another touching, engrossing, masterfully nuanced film with Like Father, Like Son, which explores the effects of a baby-switching fiasco on the sensitive bonds of early child-and-parenthood. Koreeda poses a tricky question: if you discover that the child you’ve been raising for six years isn’t your biological offspring, and are offered the opportunity to connect with your real child, what would you do?... More

For Ryota Nonomiya (Masaharu Fukuyama), a distant father beset by a heavy workload, blood is thicker, and there’s never a question to exchange Keita, whom he’s been bringing up with Midori in their plush high rise apartment. “It all makes sense now”, Ryota muses, the mystery of how little Keita exhibits his father’s traits somehow miraculously solved. But it’s a scenario that deepens significantly with complexity when we see Ryota’s biological son Ryusei spring from the warmer nurturing of the Saikis, a bubbly, close-knit working class family with none of the Nonomiyas’ economic benefits.

Never one to resort to grand theatrics, Koreeda navigates the emotional minefield of Like Father, Like Son with subtle, unhurried direction, weighing up both sides of the equation without casting judgement or providing clear-cut answers. His portrayal of children remains progressive; though undeniably cute, they’re light years away from shriller, more saccharine Hollywood counterparts, their impressively naturalistic performances on par with all the adult actors. A resonant, humanistic work with a lump-in-your-throat climactic moment that nearly rendered me a quaking mess.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 2 ratings, 2 reviews
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BY JoUrq nobody

What a great movie. We all enjoyed it (me, husband and two teen boys). Full of love, sadness and redemption with great cinematography and soundtrack.


BY Brian1 superstar

Flicks review says it all. A touching story.


The Press Reviews

85% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • The director retains his controlled style even as he moves toward a more traditional narrative mode. Full Review

  • Although a bit over-neat in its contrasts between the respective families, Like Father, Like Son remains an affecting film. Full Review

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