A MAN WITH STYLE
Directed by Yuya Ishii
Audience Award, 2011 LA EigaFest
Never the cool one in school, Junichi Miyata was the target of taunts and punches. On one tearful day, he promised himself (with best friend Sanada as witness) to be a “cool guy” – effortlessly stylish and devoid of all emotion.
Fast forward decades to Miyata as an adult, now a widowed truck driver with two college-bound kids who are eager to make their big move to Tokyo. His only friend is still Sanada, whose easygoing personality is resilient enough to tolerate Miyata’s now jagged cynicism. Worried that he may be dying from the same ailment that took his wife, Miyata prepares for the imminent end and attempts to connect with his children before departing – though who will leave first remains unknown to Miyata. What ensues is a frantic but heartwarming journey to learn more about his children as he himself confronts the emotional barriers that distanced him from his loved ones in the first place.
Wunderkind writer-director Yuya Ishii manages to craft yet another quirky tale with just the right amounts of drama and adventure-seeking delight. As the titular dandy, Ken Mitsuishi gives a charming performance as a stoic man with masked vulnerabilities and a heart of gold, leaving the audience pleasantly surprised at just how much style he really has. –Maryanne Bilbao
Cast: Ken Mitsuishi, Tomorowo Taguchi, Ryu Morioka, Jun Yoshinaga