In director Hirokazu Kore-eda focuses on a family living a precarious existence on the fringes of society. The head of this unconventional family is Osamu (Lily Franky), who is occasionally employed as a construction worker. He lives with wife Nobuyo (Sakura Ando) and his elderly mother (Kiki Kilin), his teenage daughter, Aki (Mayu Matsuoka), and what appears to be his son, Shota (Jyo Kairi) — though it gradually becomes clear that Shota is not really his son. In the opening sequence, Osamu and Shota are shopping in a supermarket. As they make signals to one another we realise they’re stealing as much as they’re buying, and that this is how they live, as they’d never be able to afford what little they have. Kore-eda’s beautiful film is both very Japanese and universal in its appeal.
Eric Idle (above), of British comedy group Monty Python fame, discusses his autobiography, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, with radio host Richard Fidler. Seymour Centre, York Theatre, corner of Cleveland Street and City Road, Chippendale. Tuesday, 7.30pm. Tickets: $25-$30. Inquiries: (02) 9351 7940 or online. The Happiest Refugee Live Australian comedian and artist Anh Do brings his bestselling book, The Happiest Refugee, to the stage in an adaptation that delves deep into the joys and sorrows of his life. The result is