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Hospitalite: Welcome To Our House

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Mikio Kobayashi lives quietly with his wife, daughter, and divorced sister in downtown Tokyo, where xenophobic neighbors insist they attend community watch meetings, and the only recent excitement is the disappearance of a pet parrot. One day Kagawa appears, claiming to be the son of a financier who once helped Kobayashi's company. Kagawa soon ingratiates himself as a live-in employee and proceeds to comically turn the Kobayashi's monotonous life upside down with his odd behavior, unexpected visitors, and bizarre schemes.

Review

Brilliant storytelling and undeniable artistry! --Chris Cabin, Slant

A marvelous tension between a prim comedy of manners and unbridled slapstick. --Ronnie Scheib, Variety

Official Selection --Rotterdam Intl Film Festival

A marvelous tension between a prim comedy of manners and unbridled slapstick. --Ronnie Scheib, Variety

Official Selection --Rotterdam Intl Film Festival

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Kanji Yamauchi, Kumi Hyodo, Tatsuya Kawamura
  • Directors: Koji Fukada
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Film Movement
  • DVD Release Date: September 11, 2012
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006G2FK38
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,483 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on August 29, 2012
Format: DVD
The Japanese film "Hospitalite" has a gentle quirkiness that is rather disarming. I knew nothing about the film before settling in to watch it and, to a large degree, the film thwarted my every expectation. What begins as a lightweight family drama morphs into a twisty game of manipulation before settling into a true celebration of life. Seriously, you've got no idea where this story will end up from where it begins. And that's always a positive from my perspective. Elements of drama, black comedy and even slapstick take turns in this tale that gets increasingly odd as it progresses. But the odder it got, the more charmed I became. I can understand how some might find the beginning too subtle as it establishes the characters and their relationships with gentle humor, but it is exactly this more mild mannered approach that really sells the big finale. And the final section of the film is quite big, quite unexpected, quite jubilant and surprisingly meaningful as well.

The movie is set in a small print shop, a family business fallen on hard times. The store also serves as a domicile for its proprietor, his second wife, his young daughter and his divorced sister. The family dynamic is well established, their lives are run by routine and what's expected by society (there are plenty of nosy neighbors). An old acquaintance makes a mysterious appearance and before you know it, he has insinuated himself into a new job and a new place to live within the print shop. His actions seem suspicious and his presence is somewhat unsettling. But he starts to see thinly veiled secrets and the undercurrents of emotions that this family are keeping stifled. With this knowledge, he starts to get more and more intimately involved.
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Mikio Kobayashi (Kenji Yamauchi) runs a printing business on the ground floor of his home. His second and very young wife Natsuki (Kiki Sugino) handles the financial affairs of the shop and looks after his daughter Eriko (Erika Ono). Into their lives comes a manipulative con man/blackmailer named Kagawa (Kanji Furutachi) claiming to be the son of an old friend of Kobayashi's father. Kagawa rapidly takes over the job of a sick employee and gets room and board provided too. Kagawa then also brings his wife to live in the house, the wife says she is from Brazil but one has doubts about this statement as she later says she is from Bosnia. Her English sounds American. What follows is that Kobayashi's life and the life of his family is turned inside out and upside down. Although this movie starts off subtly and slowly it picks up speed as it goes along, secrets are revealed and the plot thickens. I found this film to be primarily an outing and criticism about Japanese xenophobia. The xenophobia is most pronounced in the neighborhood watch group that wants to clear their small area of Tokyo from foreigners and the homeless. It's interesting though that despite the xenophobia Kobayashi's young daughter Eriko is learning English and that his divorced sister, who also lives with them, hopes to move abroad and also wants to learn English. This movie is a black comedy/drama that despite it's slow start eventually builds to a raucous finish. It is like hospitality taken to the absurd when manipulative people are able to almost totally overcome the lives of weaker and gentler people. I give it 4 stars for being different and entertaining.
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Format: DVD
Original, Funny and Thoughtful! Hospitalite is a drama-comedy with an enjoyable plot and an amazing cast! I'm a very difficult viewer who needs to be entertained but I actually really enjoyed the slow pace of the film. I felt I could better follow the evolution of each character and feel incredibly connected to them. Each character has something sincere and crazy that makes you never want to leave them and the `'family'' they form. One of the best films I have seen in a while!
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This is a "weird" movie - but uses that weirdness very cleverly to make some interesting points about xenophobia. And I saw it at the time that George Zimmerman was being tried for his killing while on a Neighborhood Watch patrol, which may be why the movie made a very positive impression on me. I admire artists who can hide statements about social problems within a good story. I was entertained and when it was over I was left thinking about flawed human behavior.
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