Times Reviews Nobody Knows

Andrew Grant andrew.grant2
Thu Feb 3 20:18:30 EST 2005

Thanks for these links.


I just saw the film last night at a screening. I was very impressed. Prior
to this, all of Kore-eda?s films left me cold ? they all begin with a
wonderful premise, but the execution falls flat (in my opinion.) NOBODY
KNOWS is a much more solid film, and has a flow to it that I find lacking in
his other films.


I?ve been doing some research on the web today regarding the real story on
which the film is based. One source says that one child died in the
apartment, but another source tells of a second, younger child, that was
killed by some friends of the oldest child. Can anybody confirm/deny this?




-----Original Message-----
From: owner-KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu
[mailto:owner-KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu] On Behalf Of Mark Nornes
Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2005 7:02 PM
To: KineJapan
Subject: Times Reviews Nobody Knows


Scott gives strong review to Kore-eda's Nobody Knows. As Dennis and others
have pointed out on the list, how a foreign film does in New York is
increasingly sealing its fate. This is good news for Kore-eda. 

There was a nice article about the director a few days ago as well. Nice,
except that he comes up with a new metaphor for the old saw about Japanese
cinema being in decline: "it's freeze-framed." 


And some of the spirit of fairy-tale adventure remains even after the mother
has vanished, the money she left behind has dwindled and Akira's
steadfastness has begun to fray into desperation. In reality, the idea of
children fending for themselves is terrifying, but that terror is also what
gives so many bedtime stories and young-adult novels their thrill.
Children's literature, from the Brothers Grimm to "The Secret Garden" to
Lemony Snicket, is heavily populated by foundlings, orphans and cast-off
children whose pluck and resourcefulness feed fantasies of heroic


Mr. Yagira was 12 when he began work on the film and 14 when he won the top
acting prize in Cannes last year, beating out Tom Hanks, Geoffrey Rush and
Gael Garc?a Bernal, among others. His performance is the key to the film's
uncanny ability to capture the world of childhood from both inside and out;
Akira is, of necessity, mature beyond his years, but also frighteningly
unworldly, and Mr. Yagira, without the self-consciousness that young actors
so often lean on, allows glimpses of the boy's complicated inner life to
come through in small gestures and fleeting expressions.

"Nobody Knows" is not for the faint of heart, though it has no scenes of
overt violence, and barely a tear is shed. It is also strangely thrilling,
not only because of the quiet assurance of Mr. Kore-eda's direction, but
also because of his alert, humane sense of sympathy. He is neither an
optimist nor a sentimentalist - like his previous films, "Maborosi," "After
Life" and "Distance," this one presents a fairly bleak view of the modern
world - but he does keep an eye out for manifestations of decency, bravery
and solidarity. These tend to be small and fleeting, and therefore all the
more valuable and worth clinging to when his patient, meticulous eye
uncovers them.

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