TIFF 2016 Movie Review: LONG EXCUSES (Japan 2016)

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2016. Go to TIFF 2016 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

long_excuses_poster.jpgLONG EXCUSES (Japan 2016) **
Directed by Miwa Nishikawa

Starring: Sôsuke Ikematsu, Masahiro Motoki, Eri Fukatsu

Review by Gilbert Seah

Based on her own novel, Miwa Nishikawa’s (DREAMS FOR SALE) film begins with the death of wife Natsuko (Eri Fukatsu). Husband Sachio Kinugasa (Masahiro Motoki) was having sex with another woman at the same exact time of the wife’s drowning and is therefore consumed with guilt.

THE LONG EXCUSE traces the life of Sachio after the death and how he copes with it. While never being a father, he bonds with the children of Yoichi (Pistol Takehara), whose wife died with Miwa.

Running at over two hours, Nishikawa’s film is a ponderous watch especially watching both Sachio’s and Yoichi’s grief. Except for a few dramatic scenes (the dinner scene when Sachio explains why he does not have children), the film is quite bland. It does to help that Nishikawa’s female characters are all superior to the men.

Sachio is an emotional mess and Yoichi is a rather dumb, uneducated father while Sachio’s wife is patient and understanding and Yoichi’s new girlfriend is thoughtful and smart. Do we really need to spend two hours watching to men grief their wives’ death?

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w5oUgQhMag

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