3 stars (out of 4)
Released 2014 (Japan)
A tale of a loving family and a secret romance as recounted in the memoirs of the family’s loyal maid. Most of the film’s events take place around the time of the Second World War. Having the human story in the foreground gave relevance to the depiction of the effects of the war and illustrated what the mindset was like at the time.
The Little House’s narrative unfolded languidly and gave the impression of being very realistic. It was well-acted and convincing, almost making you feel as if you were witnessing a piece of history.
I saw this film 2 days after watching A Tale of Samurai Cooking, also a family drama/love story set in a specific historical period, and it’s hard not to compare the two. I liked the pacing and lighter tone of Samurai Cooking a lot and appreciated that it was remarkably devoid of nastiness, even though it could have easily gone in that direction. Obviously, real life is not like that, so if you like to see realism in your movies, you might be partial to The Little House.
Just that I personally prefer the rose-coloured, feel-good experience of Samurai Cooking.