In the shadow of an ash-spewing volcano in Kagoshima, a young boy Koichi (Koki Maeda) lives with his mother (Ohtsuka). He talks regularly on the phone with his younger brother Ryu (Ohshiro Maeda) who lives with their musician father (Odagiri) in Fukuoka. When Koichi is told that a wish will come true if made at the split second two bullet trains pass each other, he dreams of reuniting his family. Travelling with a bunch of friends, he and Ryu meet at a midway point, each child hoping for a miracle.
Director Koreeda continues his exploration of the quotidian with this gentle, warmly comic study of a fractured family. With an unrushed pace and a bucolic sense of place, childhood longing comes to life, infused with the naturalness of Koreeda’s young cast. The two brothers, so different in personality, are played by real-life siblings who inhabit their characters with uncanny ease. Ohshiro in particular lights up the screen with his goofy grin. This charming film reminds us that life’s smallest moments can hold the deepest significance.