I Wish

2011 Drama

Siblings try to find a way out of the circumstances imposed on them by their parents in this comedy-drama from Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda. Ryunosuke (Ohshiro Maeda) and Koichi (Koki Maeda) brothers as well as best friends, but their lives are turned upside down when their parents divorce and custody arrangements split them up. Twelve-year-old Koichi ends up with his mother Nozomi (Nene Ohtsuka), and they move in with her parents in a small village where she gets a job at a supermarket. Koichi's younger brother Ryunosuke, meanwhile, moves in with his dad Kenji (Joe Odagiri), a struggling musician who can't hold on to a day job. The brothers miss each other and want to bring their parents back together, and when they hear of an urban legend that if two people make the same wish at the same time while watching two bullet trains pass one another, the wish will immediately come true, they decide this is the way to reunite the family. However, arranging for the proper circumstances is more complicated than they first thought, and involves ditching school, fooling their parents, and some expensive travel across the country. As the scheme becomes more elaborate, they're joined by a number of other kids who have wishes of their own. Kiseki (aka I Wish) received its North American premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. more..

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda

Starring: Koki Maeda, Ohshiro Maeda, Jô Odagiri, Nene Ohtsuka, Yoshio Harada


  • The vignettes are linked as much by theme as story, yet they're carefully structured and delicately balanced.

    - The Washington Post

    26 April 2013

  • The brothers Maeda are pure gold; the film captures what feels like effortless joy in their lives, and it is never something they seem to be reaching for.

    Roger Ebert - The Chicago Sun-Times

    26 April 2013

  • This wise and funny film, in Japanese with English subtitles, works small miracles in depicting the pivotal moment when kids turn from the wishfulness of childhood into shaping the world for themselves.

    Joe Morgenstern - The Wall Street Journal

    26 April 2013

  • When you're young, there's just so much to misunderstand about the world. And isn't that kind of what makes it such fun?

    - NPR

    26 April 2013

  • This is much too buoyant a movie for tragedy. But Koreeda's achievement is that he gives us children who might weigh more, emotionally, than their parents, yet they're still these little creatures learning how to wield and bear that weight.

    Wesley Morris - The Boston Globe

    26 April 2013


  • Best Children's Feature Film

    Asia Pacific Screen Awards (2012)

  • Hirokazu Koreeda

    Asia-Pacific Film Festival (2012)

  • Best Newcomer

    Asian Film Awards (2012)

  • Hirokazu Koreeda

    CPH:PIX (2012)

  • Best Director

    Chlotrudis Awards (2013)