Like Father, like Son

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Like Father, like Son

Hirokazu Koreeda (2013)

PG Certificate


Our Score
The meaning of being a parent slowly dawns on a workaholic Tokyo architect in Hirokazu Koreeda's charming but surprisingly lightweight changeling drama. Masaharu Fukuyama plays the father who discovers that the hospital where his son was born made an error six years earlier, and that the boy is not his own flesh and blood. Accompanied by his dutiful wife (Machiko Ono), Fukuyama meets his real child, who has been raised in a much more relaxed manner in the suburbs by shop owners Lily Franky and Yoko Maki. But it's not until he comes to terms with his own childhood memories that Fukuyama can reconcile himself to his new circumstances. Koreeda makes some keen insights into the dynamics of the average Japanese household and coaxes exemplary performances out of his young actors, but the mother figures are thinly sketched and the fathers conform rather too neatly to salaryman stereotypes. Although it's a well-told tale, the conclusions it reaches regarding the nature-versus-nurture debate are poignant if rather predictable.


A hard-working family man discovers that his six-year-old son was accidentally mixed up with another baby at birth. As he considers how to resolve the situation, the devotion of his wife and the other family involved to the children they have raised makes him wonder if he has been a good father. Drama, starring Masaharu Fukuyama and Machiko Ono. In Japanese.

Cast & Crew

Ryota Nonomiya Masaharu Fukuyama
Midorino Nonomiya Machiko Ono
Yukari Saiki Yoko Maki
Yudai Saiki Lily Franky
Director Hirokazu Koreeda

Other Information

Language: Japanese +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Arrow FilmsGuidance: Sexual references.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 18 Oct 2013