I Wish (2011 123min.) [Ch4 2.00am tuesday &+1]
A 12-year-old boy lives with his divorced mother, while his brother lives with his father in a different part of the country. When a bullet train line is built connecting the two towns, he starts to believe that when the first trains pass each other, a miracle will occur - which he hopes will reunite his family. Drama, starring real-life brothers Koki and Ohshiro Maeda. In Japanese.
Hirokazu Koreeda is the emerging star of Japanese mainstream cinema : his Like Father, Like Son (2013) and Our Little Sister (2015) both found a very large audience outside of his homeland and created interest in his back catalogue.
I Wish (along with the superb After Life (1998) ) demonstrates the development of his style and his abiding interests : childhood's hope, joy and sheer joie de vivre captured without sentimentally or a crushing layer of saccharine schmaltz.
It's a terrific story, based on a Japanese urban legend and it's brilliantly played by the young cast and the older ensemble portaying the adults in their life.
Beautifully shot and constructed it makes terrific use of the natural beauty of the Japanese landscape and the finished work is an absolute delight to watch.