THE LONG EXCUSE
Directed by Miwa Nishikawa
Best Director, Best Actor, 2016 Mainichi Film Awards
Official Selection, 2016 Toronto International Film Festival
Befitting the kind of self-absorption that has characterized his approach to marriage, celebrity writer Sachio Kinugasa (Masahiro Motoki of Departures) was with another woman the moment his wife of 20 years died in a bus accident. Now thrown into the paparazzi limelight, Sachio has trouble grieving for a wife he barely knew, let alone loved.
Meanwhile, the media circus brings Sachio to the attention of Yoichi, whose wife died in the same bus accident. In contrast to Sachio’s composed indifference, Yoichi is a wreck: heartbroken, self-pitying, and descending into chaos. An unlikely friendship develops, and in his own numbed state, Sachio finds himself drawn to this sad sack, and to taking care of Yoichi’s two children.
Director Miwa Nishikawa (Dear Doctor) weaves laughs and tenderness into the tragedy, finding between two very different men a middle ground fertile for empathy and support. Nishikawa’s love for her characters – even Sachio, whose fragile ego draws him to the company of children – is as undeniable as her characters’ longings to love again. –Brian Hu
2003: Wild Berries
2006: Ten Nights of Dreams
2009: Dear Doctor
2012: Dreams for Sale
Producer: Asako Nishikawa, Akihiko Yose
Starring: Masahiro Motoki, Pistol Takehara, Kenshin Fujita, Tamaki Shiratori, Keiko Horiuchi, Sousuke Ikematsu, Haru Kuroki, Maho Yamada, Eri Fukatsu