3 years ago via FlixsterNobody Knows (Dare mo shiranai) (2004)
Dare mo Shiranai / Nobody Knows walks the same ground of one of the best, in my opinion, Ghibli films –Grave of the Fireflies. Both stories involve a young boy, somewhere between being a child and a teenager, who must become an adult in order to care for his sibling(s) in the absence of parents. Grave took place during a war, as the world and people around the characters became increasingly indifferent to them as survival became more and more difficult. Dare mo Shiranai, on the other hand, takes place in modern Tokyo, and the family circumstances are the problem. The story is about four children, each with the same mother but different fathers, who are forced to fend for themselves after their childish mother abandons them, leaving a note and an unsatisfactory amount of money. It is based on a true story which, in fact, is even worse than the one described in the film.
The film has some of the best acting by children I have ever seen. The film was shot chronologically over the span of an year, and the care that went into the direction of this film is evident. Yagira Yūya particularly deserves credit for his portrayal of the main character. There isn’t an excessive amount of dialogue of this film, and much of the emotion and heart of the film is carried by other means.
There is a moment, for example, when the main character waits at a payphone for the man on the other line to find his mother. The time slowly ticks away and he adds fresh quarters appropriately, but as we see the number of coins dwindle, we already know that he won’t be speaking to his mother, and it’s hard to not be affected by Yagira’s subtle, painful reaction. In another scene, he watches a baseball game and is invited to join by an adult, as there is a missing teammate. For a brief few minutes, we watch the boy escape from his life and become a regular child, and it almost satisfies us as much as it does him – yet throughout a sense of restraint tells us that it is just an illusion, and that is heartbreaking.
It’s impossible to give enough praise to the perfect performance that the director has managed to get from an untrained child actor. He gives the perfect impression of a child that has been forced to act beyond his years out of necessity – yet is still a child inside, yearning to do things like have friends, play at an arcade, and play sports.
The lack of overt sentimentality is what makes the film as powerful as it is. There are no sweeping moments of grief nor are there many tears shed (on-screen). The sadness in the film is elicited from, not forced onto, the viewer, and that makes it far more moving. The soundtrack is a muted one, most of it occupied by minimalistic guitar pieces which sound neither depressing nor optimistic.
Like many movies in the “depressing” genre, this isn’t a film that is always easy to watch, nor will it remain in front of your television for constant re-watching. However, it is the kind film that I recommend for everyone, and I assure you that you will be glad to have seen it, even if it isn’t the most cheerful film.
Someone stop the flow of time
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Tetsu Tetsu 3 years ago
in Tokyo- deeply emotional movie about a group of teens growing up together, while the mother travels to Osaka in order to work,and the father is absent.
No special powers can be seen but shop lifting and Akira, the leader of the group, has the responsibility over the money. Sometimes they can get free noodles but there are obvious references about teens or kids doing tuna things just
because they are hungry.
Kore-Eda, the director of the plot, based this movie on an authentic incident that happened in the year 1988, and surprisingly it won first prize in 2004, but did not really make it in the Cinema.
When you consider Akira, how he is seen towards the end of the movie, and then probably his youth powers are wasted for nothing if just food and survival, this movie is quite a painful one, and maybe it can change mentality of people.
* this is the same spelling as on my fansite, and as on flixster. I watched it again in 2010, 5 or 6 times.
* And here is what I think about if he deserves the 1st prize award. From one of my web diaries.
Now, if you ask me, does Yagira Yuya deserve his award, 1st Prize, best actor 2004, Cannes, France?
I do not want to give a false judgement, so I really searched a long while for an argumentation that I do believe myself.
OK here is my vote: He does deserve it. In the movie Nobody Knows, he plays Akira Fukushima as if he would be real. It is not much visible that it is a staged movie play!
There are many small scenes where he expresses him well.
But- why did Nobody Knows did not make it in the Cinemas?
That is the big question.
And I found an answer! If you compare it to Harry Potter, especially the brand new one, people do not really want complex social drama. They do not even want a continuous plot that makes any sense!
People want to see explosions, dramatic effects, and characters just dying one after the one for no obvious reason!
That is what people want, and that is the reason why these movies always skyrocket so quickly.
However I think it was right to give him the award- the plot of Nobody Knows deserves to be seen, even now, and he himself also deserves the attention and popularity. He is a nice and funny guy- even if the movies I saw where he plays are considerably weird and dark.
If I would think otherwise, I would write it. I even think “Shining Boy and little Randy” is better in some sense- the plot is easier, and the movie is shorter! It just stops when you expect it would continue a little longer.
Some critics write “Nobody Knows” is too long, well I watched it about 5 or 6 times recently. Sometimes I stopped the DVD and watched the other day, sometimes I made food, not completely different than in the movie!
(something relating to the diary entry context) and these cutterblades are cheap- 30 cents. One evening I browsed old Beyblade magazines that I still have, and I did cut out Max Tate. However, Takao is also good (Tyson), according to the scheme he is not afraid to speak his mind, and neither I am.
Actually, I am done writing descriptions for 42 pictures, and listening to Astro Boy sample many many times. Mutants!
I was really thinking about that quite a long while. But I think I found an explanation.
The bad thing is that there are 1000s of boys like in the movie, like Akira Fukushima.
The bad thing is they do not experience introduction into secrects of boyhood at the age of 17. No usually it happens at the age between 10 and 12, and I would say, to the most of us.
So I think it should be seen again, even if �}*% is long beyond that plot, and there are many other movies now.
It should not be overestimated as if it would be the only movie he ever acted in, neither it should vanish from the memory.
Compared to Shining Boy and Little Randy- I only watched the latter once! If I just watch it once, it is much less likely that I put so much efforts into it (adding stuff to the internet).
Poster of Nobody Knows
February 4, 2005
PG 13 (for mature thematic elements and some sexual references)
Four siblings live happily with their mother in a small apartment in Tokyo. The children all have different fathers and have never been to school. The very existence of three of them has been hidden from the landlord. One day, the mother leaves behind a little money and a note, charging her oldest boy to look after the others. And so begins the children’s odyssey, a journey nobody knows. Though engulfed by the cruel fate of abandonment, the four children do their best to survive in their own little world, devising and following their own set of rules. When they are forced to engage with the world outside their cocooned universe, the fragile balance that has sustained them collapses. Their innocent longing for their mother, their wary fascination toward the outside world, their anxiety over their increasingly desperate situation, their inarticulate cries, their kindness to each other, their determination to survive on wits and courage
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Single mother Keiko Fukushima (You) moves into a new apartment with her 12-year-old son Akira (Yuya Yagira). They also greet their landlord and Keiko introduces Akira to the landlord as her only son. She also explains that his father is overseas on business. After they get settled into their new apartment, out of their suitcase pops out two more of Keiko’s children. Akira then goes by himself to the train station to pick up his other sister Kyoko (Ayu Kitaura).
Once everyone is together, they have their first dinner at their new apartment. Keiko explains the rules: no loud voices and nobody goes outside except for Akira. Otherwise, they will get evicted like they did at their last apartment. Keiko then leaves for work at a department store and leaves Akira to take care of the children.
The mother soon meets a new boyfriend and her absence at the apartment grows longer and longer, until one day, it seems the mother has abandoned the children for good. Akira with little money left, must take of care of his siblings, knowing that if he does not they will be separated into foster homes.
- Based on the true event know as the “Affair of the four abandoned children of Sugamo” – which occurred over a 9 month period in 1988 in Tokyo’s Toshima Ward.
- Singer-songwriter Takako Tate, who appears in the movie as a convenience store clerk, sings the movie’s theme song “Hoseki” (“Jewels”).
Abandoned in Tokyo- deeply emotional movie about a group of teens growing up together, while the mother travels to Osaka in order to work, and the father is absent. No special powers can be seen but shop lifting and Akira, the leader of the group, has the responsibility over the money. Sometimes they can get free noodles but there are obvious references about teens or kids doing tuna things just because they are hungry. Kore-Eda, the director of the plot, based this movie on an authentic incident that happened in the year 1988, and surprisingly it won first prize in 2004, but did not really make it in the Cinema. When you consider Akira, how he is seen towards the end of the movie, and then probably his youth powers are wasted for nothing if just food and survival, this movie is quite a painful one, and maybe it can change mentality of people.