I'm in love with Keiko Matsuzaka. Or maybe I'm in love with her character, Terue. Despite the fact that she's a Grandmother(!) in this.
The subtleties in the acting - The whole family plays it straight while all the characters around them ham it up. A lot of critics have accused the whole cast of hammy acting, I don't think thats true. And oh, Keiko Matsuzaka blows everyone away.
Tetsuro Tamba's Grandpa Jinpei.
The way the songs have been picturised - the style has more in common with concert films than standard musicals. The actors are rarely performing for the camera. Instead, Miike films them from various angles so that the actors dont know which camera to perform for. So it ends up looking like the characters are performing for themselves, which, to tell you the truth blew my mind away.
The Ending. Best ending EVER. Miike captures the beauty of life in a single shot.
Kenichi Endo's tiny role near the end. Endo is a Miike regular who always seems to deliver the goods. He's my new favourite actor.
Songs that are catchy as hell. And unlike Bolly/Molly/Tolly/Kollywood films, they don't overstay their welcome. In fact some of them seem to end before they even start.
Its not Terue. I love Keiko Matsuzaka.
The stop motion sequence near the end - brilliant! Again, a lot of reviewers complained about it's use because Miike ran out of money for proper special effects, but I found the crude imagery to be very evocative and touching. In fact I liked all the stop motion sequences, even the one at the beginning that seems to have no connection whatsoever to the rest of the movie.