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TIFF 2013 Review: Like Father, Like Son


Like Father Like Son
Special Presentation

Winner of the Jury prize at Cannes, Like Father, Like Son is a slow moving but elegant tale of heartbreak and unconditional love. After six years, two families, one rich, one poor, discover that their sons were switched at birth. The hospital offers a simple solution, give the children some time to adjust by starting with weekend sleepovers then switch the children back to their respective biological parents. It is a story that has been told before but director Hirokazu Kore-Eda explores the intricate grey areas of such a tragedy.

At first the story might seem to focus on one of the switched children, Keita but the film is in fact about Keita’s non-biological father Ryota (Masaharu Fukuyama) and whether or not he can learn what it truly means to be a father and how to love unconditionally. The circumstance of how the children came to be switched at birth is revealed in a surprise twist but ultimately this takes a back step to the evolving relationship between Ryota and Keita.

What is nice about this film is each character’s ability to help or to impart wisdom upon one another in small ways. We see the adult characters change as the months go by and the age old debate of nature versus nurture is explored through each perfectly captured scene of day-to-day life.

Saturday September 7 – Winter Garden Theatre – 4:30PM
Sunday September 8 – TIFF Bell Lightbox 2 – 10AM

[star v=35]