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Sad Vacation

Posted under Japanese Movies by admin on Thursday 26 February 2009 at 16:41

Directed by Shinji Aoyama
Produced by Naoki Kai
Written by Shinji Aoyama
Music by Hiroyuki Nagashima
Cinematography Masaki Tamura
Editing by Yuji Oshige
Running time 136 min.


Tadanobu Asano
Eri Ishida
Yuka Itaya
Ken Mitsuishi
Aoi Miyazaki
Katsuo Nakamura
Joe Odagiri
Kyusaku Shimada
Maho Toyota


Based on renowned director Aoyama Shinji’s own novel, Sad Vacation is a slow-brewing, stylishly lensed meditation on loneliness, anger, and reconciliation. Like Aoyama’s previous films Eureka and Helpless, Sad Vacation is set in the southern city of Kitakyushu, exploring the light and dark sides of human nature through the lives of troubled marginal characters trying to escape from themselves. Aoyama teams up again with acclaimed actor Asano Tadanobu and NANA star Miyazaki Aoi, who previously starred in Helpless and Eureka, respectively. The film also co-stars actress Ishida Eri (Hibi) and popular actor Odagiri Joe (Tokyo Tower) in his first collaboration with Asano since 2003’s Bright Future.
Inspired to he­lp others because of his own past, driver Kenji (Asano Tadanobu) takes in the orphaned son of an illegal Chinese migrant. Together with Yuri (Tsuji Kaori), the mentally troubled daughter of his late gangster friend, the three form an odd family of sorts. Also living in the same complex as Kenji are his co-workers Goro (Odagiri Joe), who is hiding from loan sharks, and Kozue (Miyazaki Aoi, in a seeming continuation of her character in Eureka), who is suffering from post-traumatic stress. One day, Kenji encounters his boss’s wife, Chiyoko (Ishida Eri), and realizes that she is actually the mother who abandoned him as a child. Chiyoko cheerily welcomes him back into her life and family as if nothing ever happened, but Kenji is not ready to forgive so easily.


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