Like Father, Like Son
The "switched at birth" urban legend and the Nature vs. Nurture debate provide Hirokazu Kore-eda with a fresh opportunity to revisit his ongoing preoccupation with family dynamics and parent-child relationships in contemporary Japan. The life of go-getting workaholic architect Ryota—one of comfort and quietly ordered affluence with his wife Midori and son Keita—is violently overturned when hospital administrators reveal the unthinkable: Keita is not his biological son. Due to a switch at the hospital, his "true" son has been raised in the disheveled but warm-hearted home of working-class shopkeeper Yudai and his wife. The different approaches of both couples to their excruciating dilemma and the gradual emotional awakening of the all-too-rational Ryota are at the core of this sensitive drama of family feeling, which showcases Kore-eda’s rich sense of humanity.