SYNOPSIS: Young brothers Koichi (Koki Maeda) and Ryunosuke (Ohshirô Maeda ) have been separated by their parents' divorce and Koichi's wish is for his family to be reunited. When he learns that a new bullet train line will soon open linking the two towns, he starts to believe that a miracle will take place the moment these new trains first pass each other at top speed.
Review by Andrew L. Urban: A gentle and hopeful film, I Wish takes us into the world of two young brothers who now live apart, thanks to their parents having separated. It's a familiar scenario, but Hirokazu Kore-eda makes it fresh, seen from the hopeful point of view of the kids. They believe in miracles and hope that one will come along to reunite their parents and thus, them.
The meandering screenplay and the lack of a strong dramatic arc makes the film challenging for audiences expecting a template family film about childish hope bringing their parents together.
But the lovely, natural performances from the two real life Maeda brothers carry the film and the way Kore-eda immerses us in provincial Japanese life is exceptional. Perhaps my favourite part of the movie is a sequence where we see how they scrape together the money to buy a ticket to be at the right time and place for the bullet train miracle to happen. Then, they and some friends write and draw their individual wishes onto paper in preparation for the momentous event. It's a touching scene that goes to the heart of the story.