I really loved the Japanese movie, WOOD JOB!. The movie was about a boy, who has just graduated from high school, failed an entrance exam for university, was dumped by his girlfriend, and is training to get a license of forestry by a strange chance. When I heard about the synopsis of this movie, I thought “Who does like to see a young boy cut trees?” because in Japan, the number of people who work on forestry is decreasing, and not a so-called “cool” job. I didn’t think I could find a great side from just cutting trees, but actually the movie had funny, interesting and touching scenes, and it was just perfect. I can say WOOD JOB! was the best movie among the movies I saw at HIFF.
The movie was pretty much a comedy, and the hero, Shota Sometani, acted really well on his silly role. He is still 22, but gathering attention from media and stars in lots of movies in Japan. He sure is one of the greatest actors in Japan now. His acting was really natural. In 2011, he won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Actor at the Venice Film Festival for his movie called Himizu. I was also very impressed by a child actor in the movie. He was also very natural, although child actors usually tend to be so theatrical. The director is also very good and famous. He won many awards including two Japanese Academy Awards.
This movie introduces Japanese traditional good old days and habits. For example, when they go into forests, they always thank for gods, it is not religious though. I think it is amazing that people can know those wonderful Japanese traditions through the movie. Also, the decreasing of the population of forestry workers is one of the serious problems in Japan, so I believe this movie will help to improve negative images of forestry as well.