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The Long Excuse

2h 4m Drama 2016


Popular novelist Sachio (Motoki Masahiro, Fancy Dance) is discontent and jaded after years of success; his 20-year marriage is lifeless and loveless while his own indiscretions have led to adultery. When his wife Natsuko and her best friend Yuki suddenly die in a freak accident, Sachio finds that he must act the part of bereaved husband despite a resounding apathy. By chance, he meets Yuki’s devastated husband Yoichi and their two children. Struck by the family’s sincerity and openness, Sachio decides, on a whim, to help care for the children while Yoichi is at work. As Sachio’s fondness for them grows, feelings that he thought were long gone begin to resurface. An adaptation of Nishikawa’s novel of the same name, The Long Excuse is a remarkably moving character study, relentlessly confronting the emotional turbulence of grief, mourning and regret in the aftermath of loss.

  • Winner, Best Director, Best Actor (Motoki Masahiro) at 2016 Mainichi Film Awards
  • Winner, Best Supporting Actor (Pistol Takehara) at 2016 Kinema Junpo Awards
  • Winner, Nippon Cinema Award at 2017 Nippon Connection

“Writer-director Miwa Nishikawa’s somber reflection on the strains of marriage and parenthood is punctuated with beautiful existential undertones.” —Variety

“Masahiro Motoki makes it all a joy to watch, lending a complex touch of humanity to an unlikeable role that’s more involving than it has presumably any right to be.”—South China Morning Post

Streaming in the U.S. from December 3-23 as part of Flash Forward: Debut Works and Recent Films by Notable Japanese Directors | Rent together with Nishikawa’s Wild Berries for only $15!


Miwa Nishikawa





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