Just as in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Like Father, Like Son (Palme d’Or in Cannes 2013), this is a family drama, but now with a focus on the relationships between sisters. Three of them are living with their grandmother as they have long been estranged from their parents. Their father left them to live with another woman. After his death, they meet their half-sister for the first time and invite her to come and live with them.
Kore-eda is known for writing and directing tender family dramas, but Our Little Sister is an adaptation of the manga Umimachi Diary by Akimi Yoshida. It is also Kore-eda’s fourth film centred on abandoned children. It is less a film of coming-of-age than a drama where young adults have to come to terms with the mess their parents made of their lives. All the actresses in Our Little Sister were awarded or nominated at the Awards of the Japanese Academy. Ayase was nominated for Best Leading Actress, Nagasawa and Kaho for Best Supporting Actress, and Hirose won Rookie of the Year. Our Little Sister was also selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2015.
“…an exquisite portrait of family life”, The Guardian.
“Our Little Sister is rife with the atmospherics and attention to telling little shifts that mark all [Kore-eda’s] best work… And the man knows how to collaborate with actors.”, Rolling Stone