After the Storm

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Year Released: 2016
Rating: 2.0

Not much is going right for novelist-turned-detective Ryôta (Hiroshi Abe): his wife Kyôko (Yôko Maki) left him for another man and took their son with her, he has writer's block, he has bad luck betting on the horses, he owes child support and his father just passed away (yikes!). I accused Our Little Sister of being too sweet and carefree, but here Kore-eda has gone the polar opposite direction to relentlessly depressive territory, with a bitter, sometimes sleazy lead who can't get his life straightened out and doesn't appreciate it when a scintilla of good luck finds him (why look down on manga, dude?). Just like in Our Little Sister, there is no shortage of food being regularly consumed - there the feasting represented bonding and family, here it's a coping tool (as for me: when I'm upset my appetite vanishes entirely). For his next film(s), I'm hoping the director can strike a more stable balance of moods....