It is a mixed review, but it has a nice comment on Yu and Ryo’s storyline.
It starts with this,
“They don’t make ’em like this anymore,” is what one would say about “About Her Brother” (“Otouto”), Yoji Yamada’s first contemporary drama in a decade, about a widow’s bottomless love for her prodigal brother and other lives touched by her kindness. Only Yamada, 79 and director of more than 70 films, has the confidence, craft and cache to make it so orthodox and melodramatic, and still claim a Closing Film slot at Berlinale. Invitations to other big festivals will follow suit, with sales most ripe in Asian markets with a “Tora-san” fanbase, especially Taiwan.
Younger auteurs like Kiyoshi Kurosawa or Hirokazu Koreeda have tried their hand at family drama — that most canonized of genres in Japanese cinema. Whereas they project modern neuroses that gnaw at the family’s fabric, Yamada’s take overflows with Capra-esque goodwill and nice characters. He lets many a farcical or tearful scene run beyond its course, but he also catches some sublime moments when characters’ dignity rises above their misfortune or unfulfilled existences.
the review includes this:
Like “Kabei,” “Otouto” is Yamada’s love poem to Yoshinaga, his muse in many films. Even when given such an idealized role, one cannot fault her measured acting and composure, given how tempting it is to raise her pitch to keep up with Shofukutei’s flamboyant presence. In a less dramatic but far more convincing subplot, Aoi and Ryo Kase are endearingly down-to-earth as childhood friends shyly reaching out to each other after her divorce.
Yu Aoi + Ryo Kase on-screen pairing is so awesome!
Read the complete review over at the Hollywood Reporter.