films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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Solid pieces

All Around Us

Gururi no Koto
2008 / 140m - Japan
All Around Us poster

A fine Hashiguchi that lacks a little finesse to make it really stand out. The setup is pretty simple, showing moments in a regular couple's marriage through the years. As they grow older you see them overcome troubles, but you also see their relationship strengthen.

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Kanao and Shoko are both graduated art students. They are awaiting a baby and are planning to get married, even though their parents don't really approve of their relationship. Life won't be easy for the two, but through all the adversities their relationship is what keeps them going.

The setup is nice for a drama, the lead performances are superb (with standout roles for Lily Franky and Tae Kimura) and the drama is subtle enough, but Hashiguchi's direction is a little too plain to justify the 140-minute runtime. It's a pleasant drama that won't disappoint fans of the genre, but it's nothing you haven't seen before.

The inoffensive


2001 / 135m - Japan
Hush! poster

Decent drama about a wayward woman who ends up with a gay couple and asks them to father her child. While the topic sounds quite heavy, the film is actually pretty light and comfortable. The acting is solid, cinematography a little basic and the drama somewhat predictable, but overall not a bad film.