Hirokazu Kore-Eda is easily one of my favorite contemporary directors — read my review of Still Walking to learn why — so needless to say, I was very excited to learn of his newest film, titled Kiseki (trans. I Wish). Here’s the film’s synopsis, via Nippon Cinema:
After his parents get divorced, Koichi (Koki Maeda) winds up living with his mother and grandparents in Kagoshima, while his brother Ryunosuke (Oshiro Maeda) lives with their father in Fukuoka. The brothers dream of their family being reunited one day, so they’re both very excited when the Kyushu Shinkansen is completed, especially when they hear that a miracle will occur when the first trains meet. Because of this, they decide to do whatever they can do make sure this miracle actually takes place.
Now, if this film were being made by any other director, I’d stay far away. “Why,” you ask? Because the above synopsis promises all kinds of overwrought melodrama and cute kid shenanigans, two things I really dislike in films. However, Kore-Eda has crafted deeply affecting films from other story ideas with similar potential — e.g., Still Walking, Nobody Knows — so I have great faith in his abilities here.
As you can see from the trailer above, Kiseki reunites Kore-Eda with several of the excellent actors from Still Walking, including Hiroshi Abe, Yoshio Harada, and Kirin Kiki, which is a good sign. Another good sign is that the film stars Joe Odagiri, himself a fine actor.
Kiseki will be released in Japan on June 11, 2011.