Our Little Sister

500 Days Of Film Reviews Our Little Sister From Director, Hirokazu Koreeda


When their estranged father dies, sisters Sachi, Yoshino and Chika Kôda journey from their seaside town south of Tokyo into the countryside to attend his funeral.


There, they meet their teenage half sister, Suzu.


The four sisters form an immediate bond. So, when Sachi invites the orphaned Suzu to live with them, she eagerly agrees.


Suzu’s arrival has a deep impact on each sister - taking them all on a loving journey of self discovery. 

Is It Any Good?

Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda (Like Father, Like Son, I Wish), Our Little Sister is a true movie gem.


Filled with stunning cinematic landscapes, I fell in love with this gorgeous and warm-hearted film. It feels like a wonderful breath of fresh air and makes you feel better just for watching.


Sachi (Haruka Ayase), Yoshino (Masami Nagasawa), Chika (Kaho) and Suzu (Suzu Hirose) are a joy. Their relationship feels utterly convincing - it is hard to believe that they are not actually sisters.


The three older sisters open their hearts to Suzu - giving the lost teen a place to belong. In turn, she inspires them to embrace the future.



Often in movies, the arrival of a step-sister causes friction and resentment. I found myself waiting for such drama to occur in Our Little Sister.


It never did.


Each sister has her own challenges to face. Each is fearful of abandonment and afraid to move forward. However, there are no shouty, angst-fueled episodes. The film remains calm and reflective (even when the characters are upset) and feels all the more powerful for its sumptuous serenity.  


The bond between the sisters is forged (and memories are unlocked) via a series of mouth-watering traditional dishes and precious jars of (often potent) plum wine. 


This is a film that celebrates the joy, the tradition and the importance of food. A single bite can prove a transformative experience capable of uniting and reuniting the ones that you love. 



Guardian film critic, Peter Bradshaw called Our Little Sister “a vitamin boost for the soul” and I couldn’t agree more.


Random Observations

Our Little Sister was nominated for the Palme d’Or at  Cannes.


Our Little Sister is based on the award-winning manga series Umimachi Diary.


Have you seen Our Little Sister?


If you have, what did you think of this movie? Do let me know by leaving me a comment in the box below. 


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Jane Douglas-Jones
Jane Douglas-Jones

E: jane@500daysoffilm.com


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