The Long Excuse - Nagai iiwake
Acclaimed director and Kore-eda protégée Nishikawa (Wild Berries, Sway, Dear Doctor) based this film on her own emotionally complex novel. When egotistical celebrity writer and cheating husband Sachio (Masahiro Motoki, Departures) loses his loyal wife (Eri Fukatsu) to a tragic bus accident, he appears nonplussed at best. He initially feigns grief, but then finds himself inexplicably befriending another widower, a poor and simple man truly devastated by the loss of his wife in the same crash. Despite his despicable character, Sachio bonds with the man and his two adorable children, even looking after them while their father is at work. As he grows attached to this newfound family and rediscovers his wife through memories, his pain finally becomes tangible. Motoki’s stellar and nuanced performance as a flawed man on an unexpected path of redemption further deepens Nishikawa’s profound dramatic trajectory.