films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


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.

Three Stories of Love

2015 / 140m - Japan
Three Stories of Love poster

Not one of Hashiguchi's brightest films. The somewhat ironic title is in bad taste and the mix of stories feels a tad random. There are some solid dramatic moments here and Hashiguchi clearly has a knack for drama, it's just that the film felt a bit lazy at times. Fans of his work should definitely seek it out though.

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Atsushi is good at his job but he is somewhat unattractive. The love of his life is taken from him and he struggles to continue living. A wife is neglected by her husband and is mistreated by her mother-in-law, and a gay man picks the wrong lover. All three struggle with the darker side of love.

The performances are decent, but Hashiguchi really delves into the misery here. The presentation is a bit bland and the mix of the stories (they're not told separately, but interwoven without really connecting) is somewhat awkward. A decent drama, I'd just expected a bit more going in.


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.