2007   Japan Sad Vacation
Sad Vacation Image Cover
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Director:Shinji Aoyama
Studio:Style Jam
Writer:Shinji Aoyama, Shinji Aoyama
IMDb Rating:7.0 (286 votes)
Duration:136 min
Shinji Aoyama  ...  (Director)
Shinji Aoyama, Shinji Aoyama  ...  (Writer)
Tadanobu Asano  ...  Kenji Shiraishi
Eri Ishida  ...  Chiyoko Mamiya
Yuka Itaya  ...  Saeko Shiina
Yusuke Kawazu  ...  Kijima
Kengo Kora  ...  Yusuke Mamiya
Ken Mitsuishi  ...  Shigeo Mamiya
Aoi Miyazaki  ...  Kozue Tamura
Katsuo Nakamura  ...  Shigeki
Jô Odagiri  ...  Goto
Yoichiro Saito  ...  Akihiko
Kyusaku Shimada  ...  Sone
Kosuke Toyohara  ...  Kawashima
Maho Toyota  ...  Makimura
Kaori Tsuji  ...  Yuri Matsumura
Yûsuke Kawazu  ...  Kijima
Kengo Kôra  ...  Yusuke Mamiya
Yôichirô Saitô  ...  Akihiko
Kyûsaku Shimada  ...  Sone
Masaki Tamura  ...  Cinematographer
Hiroyuki Nagashima  ...  Composer
Yuji Oshige  ...  Editor
Comments: PEAK TADANOBU, sideburns notwithstanding. Both hippy and pompadour!

Miyazaki Aoi shows up in her engineer style cap; Odagiri Jo with his trademark scruffy hair, both facial and head; Yuka Itaya and all that she brings. Goodness

God I miss the aughts. I believe Yuka and Tadanobu were a thing prior to this film, but I digress ...

The real home run here is Eri Ishida. What a piece of work she is. She plays Tadanobu's mom. Their initial meeting over the kitchen table is pure freak acting

I never imagined a film so blatantly unjoyful could bring me so much joy. Seeing Yuri again. Watching Miyazaki Aoi walk. Oh my

I don't think it's necessary to see Helpless and Eureka before this but I highly recommend it for way more feels

My only quibble with the film is with Kozue's "brother" and cousin. Were they supposed to be comic relief? They were simply annoying. Well, mostly just her "brother". And maybe I just missed it but where did he get a functional right arm from?


Summary: Kenji, abandoned by his mother, scrapes out a meager existence doing odd jobs including driving bar hostesses and their customers home. Besides this he takes care of the sister of an old friend in jail and a young illegal immigrant. But his life reaches a turning point when he happens to meet Chiyoko, his long lost mother. She is now married to Mamiya, the owner of an express package delivery service. They also have a teenage son, Yusuke. Subdued feelings of alarm, discomfort and resentment between Chiyoko, Kenji, and his half brother Yusuke hide underneath and are seemingly caused by the inseparable blood ties that seem to wield control over everyone's destiny. Is blood that powerful? What exactly defines a mother or a father? While Kenji struggles with these questions and attempts to escape his fate, Chiyoko seems content to let these issues unfold and find a solution. Where will it ultimately lead them?

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