It's a tough choice deciding whether it's Air Doll or After Life that ranks as my favorite Koreeda film, but I'm glad he finally cashed in on the potential he showed in After Life.
After Life is about enjoying and appreciating the good things you have. Warmly recommended for everyone who doesn't mind the modest pacing and styling.
The good stuff
It's a welcoming, soothing and comforting drama that's just all too rare in cinema. Hopefully Koreeda continues this upward trend, I'm already looking forward to his next film.
The characters are given ample room to thrive, the underlying drama is solid and the film features a stellar concept that intrigues even beyond the scope of its running time.
Decent Koreeda, though not quite justifying all the hype surrounding it. Koreeda is great at documenting everyday life, but I prefer it when his film are quieter and more introverted. Still, some great performances, fine camera work and a strong focus on the drama make this a worthy film. Just not exceptional.
Koreeda doing a murder mystery/prison drama. While the quality present is obvious, Koreeda's style doesn't really blend well with the genre. The film is a little too narrative-driven and it gets a bit boring whenever things need to move forward. Not bad, but Koreeda can do much better.
Decent anthology, sadly without stand-out entries. Kaidan stories aren't very scary or gory, so don't expect any modern horror action. Tsukamoto and Koreeda deliver the best entries, Lee's one is decent, the only subpar short is coming from Ochiai. Ironically, the only true horror director present.
Koreeda's first stand-alone project. It's a short doc on a class that takes care of a calf and has its entire curriculum based on that experience. It's a disarming doc that shows kids can handle mature issues if handled properly. Koreeda's "show, don't tell" approach is already on display here, production values are low though.