Breathe In, Breathe Out
If you think it all sounds rather dull than that's perfectly understandable. The thing is, it really isn't. Breathe In, Breathe Out is a beautiful, pure, subtle and heart-warming drama.
Riding on the Metro
A fine drama that plays like a more sentimental version of Koreeda's After Life. Shinohara isn't as subtle, the drama itself has a clearer direction and some moments can be a bit much, but overall this is a sweet, loveable and slightly fantastical film that had little trouble convincing me of its qualities. Fans of '00 Japanese dramas won't be disappointed.
High School Girl's Friend
Worthy but flawed
A noble attempt, but this Chinese-Japanese co-production never really finds its rhythm. Maybe it's because the romance is rather overstated and cheesy, maybe Shinohara just wasn't the right man for this particular blend of China and Japan. There are some hopeful moments, but overall it's just not that great.