Few filmmakers get the rhythms of real life, and the ups and downs of relationships, onto the screen as elegantly and honestly as the Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda — and his latest domestic drama, "After the Storm," is loaded with those doses of reality.
Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) is the tallest guy around, but in many ways that's the most remarkable thing about him. He lives alone, divorced from Kyoko (Yoko Maki), and he sees his son, Shingo (Taiyo Yoshizawa), only once a month — if he's paid up on his child support.
Ryota mostly keeps up on Shingo's doings because of his job as a private detective, which he's doing as research for a novel he's working on. His first novel won some awards, but that was years ago and he hasn't written anything since. He scrounges money from his pensioner mom, Yoshiko (Kirin Kiki), and his judgmental sister, Chinatsu (Satomi Kobayashi) — but he wastes much of it gambling, a habit he inherited from his recently departed father.