Frame of reference
Hirokazu Kore-eda has always had a distinctive style of film-making.More than others he loves the static shot, where action often takesplace outside the frame; movement in and out of the frame of referenceis common while the camera does not move. That's why his movies aresometimes perceived as slow and unevolving.
The same with storytelling: a significant part of the story takes placeoutside the story on screen. And even in a scene the whole scene isnever completely obvious: We often have to fill in the details. Theeffect requires much attention from the viewer, but can also be veryinteresting or downright shocking.
All his movies also seem to restrict the space where the movie playsout. Repetitive shots in Dare mo shiranai / Nobody Knows of theshopping street, the stairs, the home, etc. seem to strengthen thisnotion, in order to tell how restricted the world is for the childrenportrayed. This is further enhanced by the element of time: Timebecomes less important throughout the movie as the mother's visitsbecome less and less predictable (the use of the seasons contradictsthis in a way).
In communication between actors much emphasis is laid on non-verbalcommunication, which is superbly done here. (In Distance this went evenso far that the story was almost completely told in this way).
Conclusion: Dare mo shiranai/ Nobody Knows is a rewarding movie, butfor patient viewers only.