Loading...

I Wish Review 

Hirokazu Koreeda's latest

Thursday, May 10 2012
Comments

Bullet Train Dreams: Koreeda's I Wish

Japan's Hirokazu Koreeda has always been an astute observer of all human behavior, but his greatest gift as a filmmaker seems to be his capacity to work with children. Koreeda doesn't direct them so much as let them react to the universe he has created. The siblings at the center of I Wish, played by real-life brothers Koki and Ohshiro Maeda, often seem oblivious to the cameras around them. Whether painting fantastical landscapes or planning a secret trip, the kids exude an unforced naturalism that's a rare, marvelous thing. It's this child's-eye view of the world that makes the premise of I Wish, one that should be intolerably schmaltzy, actually work.

Twelve-year-old Koichi (Koki) is living in the south of Kyushu island with his mother. His younger brother, Ryunosuke (Ohshiro), is with his father in the north. All Koichi wants is for his family to be reunited. So he hatches a plan: to make a wish on the initial run of the soon-to-be-completed bullet train, which will speed from one end of the island to the other. He has been told that when the northbound and southbound trains pass each other for the first time, the intense energy will be enough to make miracles happen.

click to enlarge I Wish
  • I Wish

Location Info

Related Stories

  • L.A.-to-Bay Bullet Train Robbed of Funds by Judge

    Whatever you think of the idea of taking a fast train from L.A. to the Bay, it has so far turned out to be more fantasy than reality, even though it was successfully pitched to voters in 2008. See also: $100 Billion Bullet Train. Californians approved $10 billion in bond
  • Californians Turn Against L.A.-to-S.F. Bullet Train

    You people approved the publicly funded high-speed rail line that's slated to take us from Southern California to the Bay Area ... some day. See also: $100 Billion Bullet Train. But following a comedy of run-ups, including a more than doubling of projected ticket costs from $55 one-way to $120
  • Ramen Yokocho Fest

    @ Santa Anita Park
  • Ramen Yokocho 2014

    If you were one of the thousands of ramen-lovers who filled Santa Anita Park over this past weekend, on March 29-30, for the 2014 Ramen Yokocho fest, congratulations are in order. Organizers predicted 30,000 people at the Arcadia racetrack on Saturday and Sunday for the second such festival, which brought fourteen ramen shops from...
  • Japanese Tattoo Art

    On Saturday afternoon, four tattoo artists went to work inside Little Tokyo's Japanese American National Museum for the opening of "Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in the Modern World." They spent hours taking ink and needles to flesh, adding to the large, detailed illustrations that already marked their client's bodies. Crowds...

Although I Wish feels loose, it has a structure that reveals itself after the fact, and Koreeda allows his performers to guide the journey, both literally, to a town at the midpoint of the region, and emotionally, to a coming-of-age moment. —Alison Willmore (Playhouse, Regent)

Related Content

Related Locations

Now Showing

  1. Tue 15
  2. Wed 16
  3. Thu 17
  4. Fri 18
  5. Sat 19
  6. Sun 20
  7. Mon 21

    Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

    Sponsored by Fandor

Box Office

Scores provided by Rotten Tomatoes

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, concert and dining info & more!

Slideshows

  • Nicolas Cage's 10 Best Movie Roles
    As video-on-demand continues to become the preferred route of distribution for a certain kind of independent film, much is being made of Nicolas Cage's willingness to slum for a paycheck, with recent examples including already-forgotten, small-screen-friendly items like Seeking Justice, Trespass, Stolen, and The Frozen Ground. (His character names in these projects -- Will Gerard, Kyle Miller, Will Montgomery, and Jack Halcombe -- are as interchangeable as the titles of the films.) Aside from citing the obvious appeal of doing work for money (a defense Cage himself brought up in a recent interview with The Guardian), it's also possible to back Cage by acknowledging the consistency with which he's taken on "serious" roles over the years.

    David Gordon Green's Joe, which hits limited release this weekend (more details on that here), marks the latest instance of this trend, with Cage giving a reportedly subdued performance as an ex-con named Joe Ransom. In that spirit, we've put together a rundown of some of the actor's finest performances, all of which serve as proof that, though his over-the-top inclinations may make for a side-splitting YouTube compilation, Cage has amassed a career that few contemporary actors can equal. This list is hardly airtight in its exclusivity, so a few honorable mentions ought to go out to a pair of Cage's deliriously uneven auteur collaborations (David Lynch's Wild at Heart, Brian De Palma's Snake Eyes), 1983's Valley Girl, 1987's Moonstruck, and Alex Proyas's Knowing (a favorite of the late Roger Ebert).

    --Danny King
  • Ten Enduring Conspiracy Thrillers
    With the approaching release this week of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, many critics, including L.A. Weekly’s own Amy Nicholson, have noted the film’s similarities (starting with the obvious: Robert Redford) to the string of conspiracy thrillers that dominated American cinema during the 1970s. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of ten of the most enduring entries in the genre -- most of them coming from the ‘70s, but with a few early-‘80s holdouts added in for good measure. This is by no means an exclusive list, and more recent films like Roger Donaldson’s No Way Out (1987), Jacques Rivette’s Secret Defense (1998), Tony Scott’s Enemy of the State (1998), Stephen Gaghan’s Syriana (2005), and Redford’s own The Company You Keep (2012) speak to how well the genre has sustained itself over time. Words by Danny King.
  • Behind the Scenes of Muppets Most Wanted
    "The endurance of the Muppets isn't just the result of the creative skills of Henson and collaborators like Frank Oz, or of smart business decisions, or of sheer dumb luck," writes this paper's film critic Stephanie Zacharek in her review of Muppets Most Wanted. "It's simply that the Muppets are just ever so slightly, or maybe even totally, mad. Man, woman, child: Who can resist them? Even TV-watching cats are drawn to their frisky hippety-hopping and flutey, gravely, squeaky, squawky voices." Go behind the scenes with the hippety-hopping Muppets with these images.

    Read our full Muppets Most Wanted movie review.

Movie Trailers

View all movie trailers >>

Now Trending