We gave it an A-
Inspired by the true-life tale of four abandoned Japanese children whose attempt to hide their mother’s absence ended in tragedy, director Hirokazu Koreeda’s serene, sun-flooded Nobody Knows is the opposite of sensationalistic. Set and shot over the course of a year, the film marks the passage of time with small details: The kids, ranging from 4 to 12 years old, grow taller and shaggier, garbage accumulates in their small apartment, and the rules break down one by one. As the siblings visibly deteriorate, their neighbors’ ignorance goes from willful to baffling; here, it’s adults who dodge the truth and children who are forced to face it. But pointing fingers isn’t Koreeda’s game. He sticks rigorously to the children’s points of view and their touching attempts to care for one another despite the odds. Still, it’s hard for grown-ups not to feel a little guilt by association; in an accident of transliteration, the one-named actress who plays the mother is billed simply as ”YOU.” EXTRAS None.