Our Little Sister is a Japanese film (with subtitles) based on the graphic novel Umimachi Diary by Yoshida Akimi. Three sisters travel to Yamagata for the funeral of their father. There, they are surprised to find a 13-year-old half-sister, Suzu, whose mother has died. The oldest sister, Sachi (a nurse), realizes Suzu cared for their dying father. Impulsively, Sachi invites Suzu to come on live with her and the other two sisters in Kamakura. Suzu–for reasons we learn later–agrees. The Koda sisters are very different from one another. Sachi, played by Haruka Ayase, is having an affair with a married pediatrician. Middle sister, Yoshino (played by Masami Nagasawa) works for a bank but drinks too much and always seems to fall for the Wrong Guy. Chinko (Kaho) is a free-spirit. She works in a sporting goods store and dates a guy who lost six toes attempting to climb Mount Everest.
No explosions, no gunplay, no violence. But drama enters every scene as the sisters learn about each other’s problems and fears. This is a quiet film that will stay with you long after you walk out of the theater. GRADE: A