It’s been many years since a first novel brought Ryota (Abe) literary acclaim. Now he struggles to make ends meet working as an unscrupulous private eye, and trying to drum up ideas for a second book. His ex-wife (Maki) seems to be moving on in her romantic life, and his infrequent visits with his son are strained. Ryota wants to change his ways, but even his adoring mother (Kiki) is privately concerned about his aimless lifestyle.
Kore-eda’s films quietly observe the complexities and contradictions of the human condition, focusing more on character than schematic plotting. Ryota’s disillusionment with his life is brought to the fore in Abe’s nuanced performance that’s by turns oddly comedic and pathetic. Frequent collaborator Kiki is affecting as a mother powerless to save her son from his tenuous predicament. This absorbing tale builds to an emotional denouement that avoids tidy resolutions. By all means, weather this “Storm.”