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I Wish review

A subtly sweet Japanese fable

A director with previous experience probing family fissures, Hirokazu Koreeda ( Still Walking ) turns a recipe for schmaltz into something rich and true in his subtly sweet fable of two brothers separated by their parents’ divorce.

Yearning to fix their family, the boys pursue a miracle that involves two bullet trains.

The real miracle is how Koreeda never strains to move us, helped by cute-but-not-cloying real-life sibling leads Koki and Ohshirô Maeda.

The plot meanders but Koreeda’s hand is deceptively sure: the detours all add up in a climactic montage of gentle, effortless poignancy.

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Kevin Harley

Kevin Harley is a freelance journalist with bylines at Total Film, Radio Times, The List, and others, specializing in film and music coverage. He can most commonly be found writing movie reviews and previews at GamesRadar+.