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The Long Excuse (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version) DVD Region 2

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The Long Excuse (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Writer-director Nishikawa Miwa (Dear Doctor) adapts her own Naoki Prize-nominated novel Nagai Iiwake for the silver screen in The Long Excuse. True to the director's style, the critically praised drama patiently unfolds a quiet, quirky and piercing story of a man slowly realizing his own nature. The Long Excuse stars Motoki Masahiro (Departures) as a pretentious writer and 40th Japan Academy Prize Best Supporting Actor nominee Takehara Pistol as a plain-spoken driver, two very different men who cope with their wives' deaths in different ways.

Famous novelist Kinugasa Sachio (Motoki Masahiro) treats his wife (Fukatsu Eri) dismissively and is carrying on an affair on the side. While he's meeting with his lover (Kuroki Haru), his wife passes away suddenly in a bus accident. Sachio is rather unmoved by her death, but he vainly puts on a show of grief for the camera. At a meeting of the bereaved, he runs into old classmate Yoichi (Takehara Pistol) whose wife passed away in the same accident. Unlike Sachio, Yoichi is a distressed mess over the loss of his wife, and struggling to take care of their two children on his own. Sachio impulsively offers to babysit while Yoichi, a long-haul truck driver, is away for work. In the curious process, he becomes increasingly attached to Yoichi's family and their roles in each other's lives.

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Long Excuse (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version) 漫長的藉口 (DVD) (英文字幕)(日本版) 漫长的藉口 (DVD) (英文字幕)(日本版) 永い言い訳 The Long Excuse (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)
Also known as: Nagai Iiwake Nagai Iiwake Nagai Iiwake Nagai Iiwake Nagai Iiwake
Artist Name(s): Motoki Masahiro | Fukatsu Eri | Ikematsu Sosuke | Takehara Pistol | Horiuchi Keiko | Kuroki Haru | Fujita Kenshin 本木雅弘 | 深津繪里 | 池松壯亮 | Takehara Pistol | 堀內敬子 | 黑木華 | Fujita Kenshin 本木雅弘 | 深津绘里 | 池松壮亮 | Takehara Pistol | 堀内敬子 | 黑木华 | Fujita Kenshin 本木雅弘 | 深津絵里 | 池松壮亮 | 竹原ピストル | 堀内敬子 | 黒木華 | 藤田健心 Motoki Masahiro | Fukatsu Eri | Ikematsu Sosuke | Takehara Pistol | Horiuchi Keiko | Kuroki Haru | Fujita Kenshin
Director: Nishikawa Miwa 西川美和 西川美和 西川美和 Nishikawa Miwa
Release Date: 2017-04-21
Publisher Product Code: BCBJ-4726
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Japanese
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Other Information: DVD
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1057226750

Product Information





池松壮亮/黒木 華/山田真歩
松岡依都美/岩井秀人/康 すおん/戸次重幸/淵上泰史/ジジ・ぶぅ/小林勝也
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Professional Review of "The Long Excuse (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)"

August 2, 2017

Acclaimed writer, director and novelist Miwa Nishikawa, known for the likes of Dreams for Sale and Dear Doctor, returns with The Long Excuse, based on her own book. The film won attention for featuring in the lead role actor Masahiro Motoki, widely praised for his role in Yojiro Takita's multiple-award winning international hit Departures. Like that film, The Long Excuse also deals with grief, though in a different way, following the experiences of two men trying to deal with loss after their wives die, and won a number of award nominations as well as playing a list of international festivals.

Masahiro Motoki plays Sachio Kinugasa, an arrogant writer who has left his lowly roots behind and who now looks down on his hard-working wife Natsuko (Eri Fukatsu, Survival Family). When she dies in a bus accident, he finds himself barely moved, more concerned with juggling his extra-marital affairs, and can’t even bring himself to cry at the funeral. Things start to change when he meets truck driver Yoichi Omiya (rocker and actor Pistol Takehara, Sketches of Kaitan City), whose wife Yuki (Keiko Horiuchi, A Story of Yonosuke) also died in the crash and who was a friend of Natsuko, and he gradually becomes involved in taking care of his children. Slowly coming to evaluate his life, spurred partly by the outpourings of the emotional and devastated Yoichi, Sachio is forced to make a series of tough choices.

The Long Excuse is a quiet and subtle film, Miwa Nishikawa avoiding any of the kind of cheap sentiment that might have been expected given the premise of a man discovering himself with the help of young children. Although it deals with closure and overcoming not only grief but egocentricity, the film is similarly not a simple redemptive journey, Sachio's experiences and shifting relationships with the children, Yoichi and his ex-wife being complex and multi-layered – the film wins extra points for making Natsuko a constant presence without the help of the usual melodramatic flashbacks. Focusing both on the differences between Sachio and Yoichi and on his bond with the children, the film is moving and thoughtful, its script revolving around some highly engaging dynamics, and there's no obvious good/bad dichotomy between the two men. As usual, Nishikawa proves herself adept at wringing drama and suspense from this kind of setup, and though the film has a deliberate pace, it never feels dull during its two-hour running time, building confidently towards a cathartic conclusion through some surprisingly harsh plot developments.

As with Nishikawa's Dreams for Sale and Dear Doctor, the film deals with a flawed central character, who at the same time for all their faults is portrayed as being human and sympathetic. Sachio definitely falls into this category, running the risk of being distinctly unlikeable thanks to his affairs, drunken ranting, massive ego and self-obsessed lack of grief or remorse, though emerging as an engaging protagonist. This is at least in part down to a fantastic central turn from Masahiro Motoki, who is excellent as Sachio, the role being a natural progression from his character in Departures. Masahiro really nails the heart and soul of the man, managing to make his development believable and moving, without it ever feeling like the usual case of a scoundrel learning life lessons. The rest of the cast are similarly impressive, most of whom deservedly won nominations or awards for their efforts, and Nishikawa gets the best from them, something which makes the film all the more involving.

Not without its moments of humour, The Long Excuse is a great piece of storytelling and a thought-provoking exploration of grief and its impact. Miwa Nishikawa continues to prove herself one of the most accomplished writers and directors working in Japan, and one who can always be relied upon for challenging and quietly emotional drama and complex, painfully human characters.

by James Mudge -

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