Cape Nostalgia (2014)
Director : Izuru Narushima
Screenwriter : Masato Kato, Teruo Abe. Based on the novel: Niji No Misaki No Kissaten By: Akio Morisawa
Cinematographer : Mutsuo Naganuma
Editor : Hideaki Cohata
Cast : Sayuri Yoshinaga, Hiroshi Abe, Yuko Takeuchi, Tsurube Shofukutei, Takeo Nakahara, Renji Ishibashi, Masakane Yonekura
Music : Goro Yasukawa
Note: There will be an extra fourth screening on September 1.
This film is a comedy drama about an elderly woman, Etsuko and her devoted nephew, Koji. Etsuko runs a small cafe in a village that is across the sea from Mt. Fuji. There isn’t a real story but the film introduces some peripheral characters who have their own issues which Etsuko or Koji help resolve. That’s not always true in Koji’s case who seems to cause trouble due to being over-protective of Etsuko and “emotionally stunted” as one character describes him. The reasons for this are eventually revealed.
Loneliness is a theme in the film although I don’t feel it’s explored very much. Although it’s easy to sympathize and care for the characters, most are just there without much depth. The romantic interests are too conveniently established and unfortunately are either mostly ignored or don’t go anywhere interesting. These deficiencies aren’t fatal and the good acting compensates for it mostly. There are actually a good number of enjoyable comedic moments and effective emotional moments.
The cinematography is very nice with some very beautiful shots of the sea. This is definitely one of the better comedy dramas I’ve seen and worth a watch if you enjoy these types of films. If it had a bit more depth and character insight, it would have gotten a full recommendation.
On a side note, I went to the Friday evening showing and there were a lot of Japanese media as well as the two main actors Sayuri Yoshinaga, Hiroshi Abe in attendance. Yoshinaga gave an introductory speech in French which was quite impressive, her pronunciation was mostly understandable without too much of an accent. Abe said a few french words but did most of his intro speech in English in his deep and gruff voice. I wish the organizers of the World Film Festival would promote much more in advance and actually list clearly which showings will have film guests present. I didn’t even know these amazing actors would be in attendance. It also would have been nice if there could be an autograph session afterwards since the Q&A was quite short. This is what Fantasia does and the World Film Festival would benefit greatly from doing the same in my opinion. Someone in the audience commented during the Q&A that they are a fan of Hiroshi Abe and mentioned his roles in Kekkon Dekinai Otoko and Thermae Romae which are both works of Abe Hiroshi that I also enjoyed a lot. The former being the one where I first saw Hiroshi Abe and became a fan of the actor myself.
I could not find an embeddable video of the trailer but you can find a non-subtitled trailer on AsianWiki.