Weird why this gets such great accolades from top critics. Sure it's not bad and it's actually well-made, but I don't see anything that is truly exceptional. It does however tell a very universal story, regardless of familiarity with Japanese culture.
There is extreme kindness and modesty in a widowed girl, often to a point of ridiculousness, but then again such angels actually exist. My favorite performance is that of the more pro-active/talkative daughter, one who scolds her father a bit about his drinking.
Much of the acting, where the characters face the camera, is just awkward, forcing one to notice lack of ability, most especially from the lady playing the mother.
The movie was a lot less bearable on first viewing, due mainly to being overly slow-paced, as well as being eventless. I did appreciate it more on this revisit, perhaps because I could easily look past the stylistic choice, and instead enjoy the ride where we get treated to quality character development and a rather simple story sprinkled with extremely polite people.