~Downstairs at the Savoy~
Like Father, Like Son
Not Rated; 122 minutes
In Japanese w/subtitles
Steven Rea, Philoadelphia Inquirer (excerpted)
Like Father, Like Son, a beautifully observed study of two families in modern-day Japan and winner of the Jury Prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, finds a workaholic architect, Ryota and his wife, Midori, living well in a high-rise apartment with their 6-year-old son, Keita. The parents push him to excel, prepping him for an admission interview to an elite school, giving him piano lessons, limiting his play time.
Ryota leaves early, returns late, works weekends, but when he is home, he is training, lecturing, shaping Keita in his mold. And then a call from the hospital where Keita was born changes everything. Babies had been switched at birth. Another couple, a shopkeeper, Yudai, and a fast-food worker, Yukari, have their son. And vice versa.
Like Father, Like Son explores the bonds between parent and child. Is DNA more important than love? Bloodline more essential than environment? How do class and culture and money work into the equation? With gentle humor and piercing insight Like Father, Like Son explores themes that are essential to us all.