films seen
10
average score
3.55*
nationality
Japan - 51 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Ohmori is famous for his gritty, uncompromising dramas. He has been a pretty consistent director so far, with a few positive outliers and no real disappointments. If you care for dark Japanese dramas, his oeuvre's an absolute must.

The good stuff

And Then There Was Light

by Tatsushi Ohmori
Hikari
2017 / 137m - Japan
Drama, Thriller
And Then There Was Light poster

A raw and relentless drama with deeply rooted thriller elements. It feels like a cross between Rage and The Light Shines Only There. If that's a bit hard to grasp, that's perfectly okay since Ohmori delivers a strange and uncomfortable film, with stellar performances and a completely bonkers soundtrack. A neat little masterpiece.

Whispering of the Gods

by Tatsushi Ohmori
Germanium no Yoru
2005 / 107m - Japan
Drama
Whispering of the Gods poster

If you appreciate Omori's uncompromising and bleak look at our society, Whispering of the Gods is one of the purest films you'll find out there.

Solid pieces

Mother

by Tatsushi Ohmori
Mazâ
2020 / 126m - Japan
Drama
3.5*/5.0*
Mother poster

A very solid but somewhat safe Japanese drama. Mother serves a story about bad parenting and neglect, which quickly draws parallels to Koreeda's Nobody Knows. The films would make a fine double bill, though Mother is slightly darker, entirely in line with Ohmori's other films.

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Akiko is a single mom. She's lost the support of her family, she has terrible taste in men, and she has to raise a young boy named Shuhei. She often uses him as leverage to get money from others, but people are getting tired of her begging. Akiko's situation is bound to get worse when her latest lover leaves her behind pregnant with another kid.

Performances are great, especially since there are few sympathetic characters here. The cast makes sure that it's not so much a film about blame or good vs bad, but about tragic situations and their often inevitable outcomes. Stylistically Ohmori could've done more with Mother though. While not bad, it looks rather plain and expected. It's certainly not a bad film, but nothing too memorable.

Taro the Fool

by Tatsushi Ohmori
Tarô no Baka
2019 / 119m - Japan
Drama, Crime
3.5*/5.0*
Taro the Fool poster

Omori further establishes his reputation with one of his impressive but very unpleasant films. Taro the Fool isn't an easy watch. There are no characters you can root for, there is no light at the end of the tunnel, no relief for those who power through. Then again, that's what makes these nihilistic films so worthwhile.

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Taro is a young boy who isn't quite like the rest. His mother doesn't care for him, so he tends to ditch school and hangs around with his two friends, Eiji and Sugio. This trio always gets into trouble, but when they rob a young Yakuza and end up with his gun in their possession, things are about to get worse.

The central trio aren't very nice boys, neither are their adversaries. The film is really just an escalation of bad behavior, still Ohmori finds a way to make his audience care for the leads. If the styling had been just a little grittier I probably would've found another personal favorite, but this was very impressive regardless. Just know what you're getting yourself into.

Every Day a Good Day

by Tatsushi Ohmori
Nichinichi Kore Kôjitsu
2018 / 100m - Japan
Drama
3.5*/5.0*
Every Day a Good Day poster

I don't think dramas can get any more Japanese than this. A film centered around tea ceremonies, with some very light drama on the side. The most surprising thing is that it comes from director Tatsushi Ohmori, a man who started his careers with one of the darkest dramas I've ever seen.

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I'm not extremely familiar with the Japanese tea ceremony, but I do know it's a very delicate and elaborate set of operations that has meaning beyond simple explanations and reasoning. With a powerhouse like Kirin Kiki in front of the camera, flanked by younger talents like Haru Kuroki and Mikako Tabe, the film has more than enough dramatic weight, even when the plot remains very light.

Ohmori's direction is solid. The camera moves slowly and deliberately, framing is clean and the music is gentle. It doesn't really stand out from its peers, but it sets a perfect tone for this slightly meandering film. No masterpiece, but a very warm, rich and subtle drama that is more than just the sum of its parts.

Seto & Utsumi

by Tatsushi Ohmori
Setoutsumi
2016 / 75m - Japan
Comedy, Drama
3.5*/5.0*
Seto & Utsumi poster

A manzai-based comedy with a manga background. It's definitely not a film with big international appeal and fans of Tatsushi Ohmori should expect something completely different from his other work, but the mix with drama is surprisingly effective and well executed. Short, sweet and loveable, but very niche.

The Ravine of Goodbye

by Tatsushi Ohmori
Sayonara Keikoku
2013 / 116m - Japan
Drama
3.5*/5.0*
The Ravine of Goodbye poster

Tada's Do-It-All House

by Tatsushi Ohmori
Mahoro Ekimae Tada Benriken
2011 / 123m - Japan
Drama
3.5*/5.0*
Tada's Do-It-All House poster

A Crowd of Three

by Tatsushi Ohmori
Kenta to Jun to Kayo-chan no Kuni
2010 / 131m - Japan
Drama
3.5*/5.0*
A Crowd of Three poster

The inoffensive

Child of the Stars

by Tatsushi Ohmori
2020 / 110m - Japan
Drama
3.0*/5.0*
Child of the Stars poster

A rather subdued drama by Ohmori. That's a bit surprising to be honest, as he is best known for his edgy and gritty films. The topic of the film certainly could've gone a lot darker, and it could've fit right in with the rest of his work. That said, going with this softer approach might actually be the most shocking way to portray the story.

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The young Chihiro suffers from eczema. Nothing helps, until a colleague from Chihiro's father suggests a special kind of water. The water instantly clears Chihiro's condition, her parents are delighted. It drives them to an odd cult. Chihiro's brothers moves out of the house once he is old enough, Chihiro prefers to stay with her parents.

It's interesting to see that Ohmori doesn't blindly condemn the cult and Chihiro's parents, not a very common angle. The performances are solid and there are some strong scenes, but it's probably a bit too complacent in its styling to really stand out. A nice film, I just wish it could've made a more lasting impact.