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After The Storm (Umi yori mo mada fukaku)
Celebrated Japanese writer-director Hirokazu Koreeda continues to explore strained family dynamics in this beautifully composed character study that builds - as the title suggests - to an epiphany during a thunderous typhoon. In Kiyose on the outskirts of Tokyo, award-winning novelist Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) is struggling to find inspiration for his second novel so he works a dead-end job as a private detective instead, extorting money from his clients and targets. He is separated from his wife Kyoko (Yoko Maki) and regularly visits his elderly mother Yoshiko (Kirin Kiki) in order to steal money from around her home. To almost everyone, Ryota is a loser except for his precocious young son Shingo (Taiyo Yoshizawa), who yearns to spend more time with his old man. While he clashes with Kyoko about child support payments, Ryota spends precious time with his boy and introduces young Shingo to some of the sights that he enjoyed with his late father.