In recent years, the humble art of knitting has acquired an increasingly young, hip following for its supposedly therapeutic benefits – and finally has a film to show for it in Close-Knit. That’s not to trivialize the wider social issues of Naoko Ogigami’s gentle, sweet-souled celebration of alternative family structures, in which a maternally neglected young girl finds security in the care of her uncle and his transgender partner. But the knitting motif is one the film returns to repeatedly as a bonding metaphor, and one that’s wholly indicative of its snuggly feel-good appeal: This is a warm, practical, pastel-shaded cardigan of a film […].
[…] Ogigami explores alternative sexual and gender identities – particularly as viewed through the inquisitive eyes of 11-year-old Tomo, who’s of the age where a man choosing to become a woman can seem intriguingly novel and, at the same time, no big deal. (With a child’s lack of modesty, Tomo is cheerfully unafraid to ask what happens to the penis in a male-to-female sex-change operation – which is more than some coy filmmakers addressing the subject have done.) […] [T]his is a nuanced, softly lit family portrait, with compassion and conflict held carefully in balance.
Guy Lodge, Variety