2017 Milwaukee Film Festival – Review – AFTER THE STORM
One of the standout programs of every Milwaukee Film Festival is WORLDVIEWS. It’s international cinema which often defies categorization into familiar genres. Which precisely describes the quite wonderful AFTER THE STORM.
AFTER THE STORM is the newest film from Hirokazu Kore-eda, a finely cut jewel of a drama which explores a man trying to live up to what he would like to be amidst the wreckage of his divorce and the realization that he’s become something like his gambling addict father after a promising start. It’s funny, it’s finely observed, it’s full of insight and fine acting, and most of all it’s full of humanity. Imperfect humanity to be sure, but undeniably human characters that are in conflict but aren’t cartoon characters yelling and screaming for no real reason.
There’s no need to discuss plot, it’s the interactions between people that matter with a really terrific lead performance by Hiroshi Abe. Just the way he can slump his shoulders says wonders. Also of note is Kirin Kiki who was wonderful in SWEET BEAN. There are no bad performances, but those two are real standouts.
AFTER THE STORM won’t compare to any of the big blockbusters out now, which is precisely why it’s such a wonder. In its quiet contemplation and compassion, it provides something that hundreds of millions of dollars of bombast can’t. In its humanity and precision, it’s one of the best films of the year.
AFTER THE STORM will be playing twice more at the 2017 Milwaukee Festival. The next screening is Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 1 pm at the Fox-Bay Cinema Grill followed by a final screening on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 1 pm at the Times Cinema. Tickets can be purchased online at the Milwaukee Film Festival website or at box office locations at various venues. The 2017 Milwaukee Film Festival runs from September 28 to October 12, 2017.