COTTONTAIL – A Review by Jenn Rohm

COTTONTAIL – A Review by Jenn Rohm

Occasionally, I get to experience movies that slow life down a bit.  They have a heavier emotional impact and bring insight into life that is not usually on the silver screen.  Patrick Dickinson’s full-length film directorial debut, Cottontail, was one such piece.

This is the story of a grieving widow, Kenzaburo (Lily Franky), fulfilling one last wish from his wife, Akiko (Tae Kimura/Yuri Tsunematsu).  Their son Toshi (Ryo Nishikido) is lost and hurting.  Father and Son want to connect, and Akiko’s request to have her ashes spread at a lake in England is a chance to do so.  Joining the journey from Tokyo to “Lake Windermere,” we have Toshi’s wife, Satsuki, and their young daughter Emi.  Ken decides to take off on his own and heads in the wrong direction.  He meets another Widow and his daughter, who help him get back on track.  The choice to include flashbacks of a few powerful memories came across as true to real life and added to the pace of the piece.

The story is not just about the love between Ken and Akiko or their family; it also shows a love for Japanese culture and life. Detail and respect are given in Akiko’s funeral scene. This allows some insight into a very private moment not many Westerners have seen. Dickenson’s education, with a focus on Japanese film, shows. He does include the themes of marriage and family, specifically the multi-generation connection between father and son. 

Mark Wolf captures the beauty of Tokyo and England while complementing the actors’ performances.  The lighting supports this piece about grief and healing.  Nothing is overly bright or dark, just a bit softer. 

I recommend seeing this film for those who enjoy stories that any of us could experience and appreciate learning a bit about another culture.

 

Director: Patrick Dickinson

Written By: Patrick Dickinson

Cast: Lily Franky, Ciarán Hinds, Aoife Hinds

Language: Japanese, English

Genres: Drama

Selig Rating: 3 stars

Runtime: 1 h 34 m

Theater Release Date: June 7, 2024

On-Demand Release Date: July 9, 2024

Trailer: Cottontail Official Trailer

 

The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.

4 Stars – Good movie/show

3 Stars – OK movie/show

2 Stars – Well, there was nothing else…

1 Star – Total waste of time.

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