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An (2015) Online

An (2015) Online
Original Title :
An
Genre :
Movie / Drama
Year :
2015
Directror :
Naomi Kawase
Cast :
Kirin Kiki,Masatoshi Nagase,Kyara Uchida
Writer :
Durian Sukegawa,Naomi Kawase
Budget :
JPY 234,000,000
Type :
Movie
Time :
1h 53min
Rating :
7.4/10

The manager of a pancake stall finds himself confronted with an odd but sympathetic elderly woman looking for work. A taste of her homemade red bean paste convinces him to hire her, which ... See full summary

An (2015) Online

The manager of a pancake stall finds himself confronted with an odd but sympathetic elderly woman looking for work. A taste of her homemade red bean paste convinces him to hire her, which starts a relationship that is about much more than just street food. {locallinks-homepage}
Cast overview:
Kirin Kiki Kirin Kiki - Tokue
Masatoshi Nagase Masatoshi Nagase - Sentarô
Kyara Uchida Kyara Uchida - Wakana
Miki Mizuno Miki Mizuno
Miu Takeuchi Miu Takeuchi
Saki Takahashi Saki Takahashi
Yurie Murata Yurie Murata
Taiga Taiga - Yôhei
Wakato Kanematsu Wakato Kanematsu - Wakato
Miyoko Asada Miyoko Asada - Shop Owner's Wife
Etsuko Ichihara Etsuko Ichihara - Yoshiko

The young actress playing Wakana is Kirin Kiki's granddaughter.


User reviews

thrust

thrust

The last film directed by Naomi Kawase and I think the first in which she didn't use a script of her own , being an adaptation from a novel....

Watching the trailer you can feel that the movie is something more that it shows, being this a great success because they didn't spoil the most important part of the plot, letting the audience discover the truth about this characters while watching the movie.

The film is a beautiful tale about redemption, friendship and nature, told through a slow and very poetic style but although that it is a slow movie , I didn't even notice the duration of it because I was absorbed into the story...

I have read a lot about Naomi Kawase work and I was very interested but I've never had the chance of watch any of her movies until now, I have read that this one is her less personal and more commercial film but I'm looking forward to watch her previous works...I have really enjoyed her intimate way of tell stories and her exquisite style, I instantly became a fan of her...

The worst thing about this movie is that it makes you hungry Emoticono tongue

VERY GOOD MOVIE
Gugrel

Gugrel

Although I've traveled through Japan for three weeks last year, I had never heard of dorayaki, let alone eaten it. This omission has been put to an end by the film 'An'. As a nice and original gimmick, every viewer in the cinema I went to, received a dorayaki with his ticket, nicely wrapped in cellophane. The fun thing is: nobody knew exactly what is was, until the film was well underway.

A dorayaki is a sort of double mini-pancake, filled with bean paste. The Japanese word for the bean paste is an, hence the title of the film.

'An' is a small, heartfelt, feel-good movie. It starts and ends with beautiful images of cherry-blossom, the epitome of all things Japanese. The story takes place in the twelve month period between the blossom seasons. Sentaro, a quiet man in his thirties, sells dorayaki in a fast food stand. One day, a woman in her seventies brings him a plastic box filled with home-made an, because she doesn't like the industrial an Sentaro uses for his dorayaki. At her request, Sentaro hesitantly hires her as an expert an-maker, and from then on, business is booming.

This sounds like 'An' is a movie about food. It is, but it's about much more. The story is also about illness, death, discrimination, youth and capitalism. But above all, it's about enjoying life and looking at the bright side of things. There are parallels with the wonderful Indian film 'Lunch Box', but 'An' is less energetic and much more philosophical. It tends to be a bit slow, and towards the end the story drags on a bit. But these are minor flaws. Overall, 'An' is a nice film that makes you leave the cinema with the feeling that mankind isn't so bad after all.
Faezahn

Faezahn

I went into Sweet Bean blind, knowing only that it featured the titular sweet bean paste of the title. What a delightful little film it is!

It's an unusual tale about three loners all drawn together in a dorayaki shop. Sentarô is a, gloomy middle aged chef, who works at a small middling dorayaki shop, making the pancakes and sweet bean paste that comprise the dorayakis. His shop is attended daily by a teenage girl, Wakana, whose mother does not value higher education and wants her to get a job as soon as possible. One day an elderly woman, Tokue, appears, wanting to work in the shop and claiming it has always been her dream to do so. Sentarô turns her away gently, but when she returns and offers him a sample of her sweet bean paste he is moved by her product and hires her to work with him.

Like many films about cuisine this film will whet your appetite. I've never eaten dorayaki but there were so many great shots of the making of the food that I was hungry after watching it.

All of Kawase's films are lovely and this one is no exception. The film is contemplative without feeling slow. I've read reviews that say it is more accessible than her other films and it definitely seems that way to me. A good place to start with her filmography if you haven't seen in any of her films before.
Beranyle

Beranyle

I watched this film with awe by its gentleness that goes straight to the heart...the actress who plays Tokue is a experienced actress and she has a beautiful smile that just melt your heart....Although it deals with leprosy but there is nothing hideous nor deformity which makes you feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, the beauty in everything which Tokue is seeing is so beautiful: the moon, the cherry blossoms, the sunlight...and the small bakery shop seems like a refuge for her....She has a mother-son relationship-like toward the baker and her acting is so natural that just moves you so much. I recommend this beautiful Japanese film to anyone. Don't miss out this rare pearl...
Ubrise

Ubrise

...after ten minutes or so I knew that this film was worth to watch. the actors; the pace; the cinematography showing all those sakura trees were perfect.

No doubt that Kirin Kiki is the movie herself but Masatoshi Nagase with his silence and sad face works for me too. Of course to have a good script and director sure help a lot but they captured the mood the right way.

Sometimes we cannot do or see the simply things because life gets on us; sometimes we have the problem; in our minds, souls or bodies. Life is so good for many but a pain for many others too; so depends on what side of the coin you are to live a full one; however, the script is telling us that if you are one that carry one of these big problems better to try to take the best out of you and do it the best possible way without fall too deep. You know, there s no choices, until dead comes...

Kyara Uchida is the third important character here; her roll is a shy but independent teenager that are somewhat on her own due to her mother does not act as one.

In real life she is the granddaughter of Kirin Kiki.
Dusar

Dusar

The Japanese foods considered as the healthiest food in the world. Yes, it's a food and restaurant related theme, and those who loves them should give it a try. It was another film like 'Midnight Diner' that I saw a couple of months back, which focused on a small eatery as this one. What fascinated me was its simple storyline and the realistic approach. It was based on the novel of the same name of the original Japanese title 'An' which translated as 'Bean Paste'. It is not just a food film, but well explored relationship of the people from different generations. This is quite common I found in the Japanese films, yet very distinct from other similar ones.

There were three characters in the films that kind of represents past, present and future. Where they all learn some important lessons from each others. I don't know that was intentionally done, but that is how I saw it. The most of the story's perspective was from the middle aged man, Sentaro who runs a small dorayaki shop which regularly visited by the students of the nearby school and the locals. His story is kind of depressing. Not the film, just what he went through in his life and after that his life remained quite a low without an alternative. Though, there were no flashbacks, but just revealed by orally when the right time comes.

One day a very old woman named Tokue comes asking for a job after seeing the signboard outside the shop and somehow she manages to grab it. Later she teaches him to make his own bean paste. This is the part I like very much, because it might have not revealed fully how to make a bean paste, but definitely you would feel you want to taste it right away when you see the beautifully prepared paste filled in the tray. So I won't be surprised if you visit a Japanese restaurant just to make your first taste of dorayaki or whenever you visit there, remember this film and ask for it.

"It's like a first date, the young couple needs to get friendly."

So with such a development, the film takes a leap to the next stage of the story. Where the shop sees the rise in customer influx and by its success, Tokue offered to stay and help further. On the other side a middle school girl, Wakana who has not decided about her future, whether to attend the high school or get a job in Takue's shop which obviously went to the old woman. In the meantime, all the three develop a close relationship to each other in the short time. Despite from the different social group, but the strong connection with the shop. But one day as the gossip spreading like a wildfire all over the town about the shop, followed by a couple of unexpected events, the story nears to its end part with an emotional episode.

The most of the film looked like a poetry. The director, who also wrote the screenplay did an awesome job. The cast's performances were outstanding. I have seen them all in different films, even though I did not recognise them at first. I think it is the actors and the wonderful cinematography that made this film looks better than its story. People put their recipe in a book and publish them or make the videos and release online, but I think this kind of film is definitely would make lot impact on, even for the non-food lovers to have a close look which would generate a serious desire and hunger. Just like 'The Ramen Girl', but not as good as this one. A film that preserves a precious dish digitally and makes reach corners of the world.

By now you know that I loved it, but there's something I did not like from it which is the third act. Actually, that final act was a bit drag. Compared to the earlier sections, those last 20 or so minutes were quite an unnecessary stretch. I am an easy prey to sentimental scenes, but for this film I did not feel a thing. Other than that, how it all ended pretty neatly wrapped which I applaud loudly.

Whatever I said all the good and bad stuffs about it, there are some other topics as well in it which came as a side message, but that overtook everything on the final stage and ended as it was the centre of the story like that about treating an older person with disability. I had said many times before in my earlier reviews that I easily fall for seeing the old people suffering which happened in this. So heartbreaking. Except a very few defects that affected me which might won't make a big deal for others, I recommend the film, especially for the drama fans and food lovers.

8/10
Vudozilkree

Vudozilkree

Tears rolled down from my eyes while watching An. The movie reminds me of the evils of discrimination. Unique and beautiful, everyone deserves love. Also, it is important to throw oneself heart and soul into everything one does. Let's say NO to a flippant attitude and I hope my students can understand that constant efforts yield success. Moreover, this touching movie reminds us to treasure what we have and not to take everything for granted.

Although the story is rather simple, the film is worth watching because of Kirin Kiki, one of the best Japanese actresses. Her acting is beyond compare. I totally feel for her character, who stays positive and truly appreciates the beauty of the mother nature despite her sad story. Masatoshi Nagase is impressive too. He subtly expresses his suppressed frustration, in spite of his long silences at the beginning of the film. I also love his performance in another film, Kano. Apart from the capable leads, the cinematography is awesome. The four seasons, the food and the mother nature are beautifully captured.

Like red beans, life is bittersweet in nature. Nevertheless, the elderly woman's secret recipe for truly transcendent dorayakis reminds us that we are able to get rid of the bitter taste, with a good attitude, smiles, effort and love.
Winawel

Winawel

"Sweet Bean" is a film that revolves around Dorayaki--small pancakes that are glued together (usually) with sweet red bean paste. For anyone who hasn't had these sweet beans, they are amazingly delicious and any Japanese dish with sweet beans is a real treat. So, as I watched the film, it made me really, really hungry!

When the film begins, the manager of s tiny Dorayaki shop is approached by an elderly woman who wants a part-time job. He refuses, as she appears to be at least in her mid-70s. However, she is persistent and presents him with some of her sweet beans. After eating them, he realizes her filling is much better than his and he immediately hires her. She teaches him her method and together they are very successful. However, while you'd think this would result in a happily ever after sort of ending, it is NOT so sweet....but actually rather depressing and bitter-sweet. I am NOT being critical about the film...just warning you as folks who are already depressed might be better off watching another film. The themes involving Japanese prejudices against the disabled are interersting...but naturally not particularly fun to watch! Overall, the film has lovely acting and pacing...but also might not provide the sort of payoff you might be looking for in a movie.
Liarienen

Liarienen

"Sweet Bean" is a small, reflective movie that depicts the relationship between a guy working at a dorayaki shop, a sweet filled with 'an' (the reason for its original title), an old lady that appears out of nowhere and tries to convince him to employ her at his shop, and a young high school student who has her own problems with her family. Little by little, they become close to each other, a bond is created and they get a glimpse into their respective pasts.

Naomi Kawase normally does slow-burning movies, with a relaxed atmosphere, long takes and centering on the actors and their exchanges. "Sweet Bean" is not an exception and the actors answer with great performances all around (even sometimes histrionic Kirin Kiki, here very tone down and contemplative). The plot may seem simple, but it has different layers, which will grip the viewer, making them not only enjoy, but also think.

There are a couple of shaky points, though. First, the pace suffers in some moments, being a little bit brusque, some plot developments a little bit out of the blue. The second is that the last act is a little bit overlong and/or in-your-face.

"Sweet Bean" will be enjoyed by everyone. And make you hungry.
Just_paw

Just_paw

During the film I asked myself how the Naomi Kawase films leave me so inserted in interlacing of so deep and - at the same time - indescribable feelings. Melancholy, but a sweet melancholy, which mixes a sense that there are many things wrong in life, but despite all that we still have to give us to others and to world. I honestly could not answer my question well beyond this identification... But I accepted that this is part of Kawase films. "Sweet red bean" is, for me, as good as "Suzaku" (another great film of this more than excellent Japanese director) and as beautiful as "Tou ze" (Ann Hui, 2011). "Sweet red bean" touched me deeply. It's saved in the bottom of my heart.
SiIеnt

SiIеnt

This movie tells the story of a man who bakes pastries for a living, selling them in a street-side shop that he does not own. Struggling with his past, he is unhappy. One of his few friends is a schoolgirl, who herself is troubled by a difficult relationship with her mother. One day an elderly woman appears and a beautiful friendship blossoms between the three of them, enriching all of their lives.

The film is deliberately slow paced and quite soft. If you are even the least bit prone to getting emotional while watching films you will cry, I did. The old woman especially has a heartbreaking story, more so because it is based on actual history. Like you might expect from a Japanese movie the aesthetic value is very high.

The only small gripe I have with the movie is that it is very, very sentimental; I would have preferred it turned down a notch. But maybe that's just because like the main male character in the story, I like sweet, but not too sweet.
Malaunitly

Malaunitly

SWEET BEAN caught me totally by surprise: I rented it because it looked like another interesting drama with perhaps a hint of humor and just a pinch of sadness. It was all of these things and more: the twist was so shocking that it gave me pause. (Although I've written horror stories and even created a black and white comic book character thus afflicted, one seldom sees a disease like this given the Feature Film treatment.) The performances are all sound and the direction is exactly what one would expect from a "foreign" film director (as opposed to American film directors, most of whom seem to be unable to do anything more than slick Big Screen COMMERCIALS).
Negal

Negal

The manager of a small pancake stall finds his product is suddenly a neighbourhood sensation after an old woman shows up and changes his recipe. But old prejudices rear their head to scupper short-lived happiness.

This is a relatively prosaic outing for writer-director Kawase, a film that eschews the lyricism and frustratingly enigmatic self-orientalising tropes of Moe no Suzaku or Mogari no Mori, for a greater concern with narrative cause-and-effect. Masatoshi Nagase is suitably brooding and mysterious as the weary manager of the stall, tolerant if not indulgent of the inane chatter of schoolgirls who occupy his workplace like a clubhouse. Kirin Kiki is her usual charismatic and maverick self, managing to bring humanity and pathos to a role that could easily have been cloying and maudlin. The storyline of the older women bringing hope to a man with a crushing past works well, Tokue proving a catalyst to stop the manager going through the motions and start living again. The film also functions as an educational piece on the discrimination historically meted out to sufferers of Hansen's disease, or leprosy, in Japan. This part is less effective, following the well-worn trope of having a schoolkid come along so the adults can relate the hidden history she knows nothing about. Heavy-handed and flat, it ill-serves the narrative, and slightly trivializes an ugly but fascinating aspect of Japan's social history.

Kawase does not totally leave behind her shamanistic/animistic leanings: there are the usual hand-held shots of sunlight glinting through treetops, and some cod-philosophy on the power of the moon. She hones excellent performances from Kirin and especially Nagase, whose edges seem all too brittle and authentic. A small film with a big heart, that makes a quiet but powerful point.
Velellan

Velellan

Sweet Bean (2015) : I read the reviews, how very different perceptions about the same story:

I read the reviews, how many and very different perceptions about the same story can you get?

I really liked the film and therefore I wanted to get a clearer idea of the main themes that the book and the film stand for. What I found was a big array of different perceptions about what the film was about. Myself, I am of the opinion that the older one was a wise master of life that was trying to give some of her beautiful wisdom to the other two characters, not so much because she could provide that 'society outsider' perspective but because life put her on the road to meet and change the life of the other two. I think the older woman didn't even need the job as a cook but this job was just the excuse for her getting close to the chef (or cook, whatever) so that he would actually be the one that gained from his own act of kindness. The girl also finds out that she has to do what is in her heart and to enjoy her freedom and her limited time on earth. She also learns that if she really loves something, she has to let it go so that it (or her) can also be free like her bird was at the end. Anyway, the deeper message comes at the end, when she simply resumes the main Buddhist's ideas that we are all one and we should forget the self and go with the flow, life's and nature's flow and to be surprised with everything that happens to us each and every day because in a way, it all happens for a reason and the path that brought these things to us, started a long time ago, on their own, on their path to meet us, at the exact time and place where we should have met them, known them, love them or lost them.
Vareyma

Vareyma

Internationally acclaimed Japanese auteur Naomi Kawase's 8th feature, SWEET BEAN sets its three-generation confluence in a small dorayaki shop, the owner Sentaro (Masatoshi Nagase), a middle-aged loner paying his dues to his troubled past, a septuagenarian Tokue (Kirin Kiki), who wins the co-worker vacancy with her bean paste, made from her homegrown recipe brims with deference and care to the beans, and a secondary-school pupil Wakana (Kyara Uchida), who frequents the shop and may relinquish the possibility of a higher education due to pecuniary deficiency at home.

Naomi's feminine adroitness permeates from the start go, a lackadaisical Sentaro begins his quotidian grunt work in his perennially glum mood, against a beauteous streetscape dotted with cherry blossoms as if we too, can vicariously smell their flagrance. The advent of Tokue, like a gentle breeze, both leavens the taste of Sentaro's dorayaki and his woebegone life, the narrative takes a leisurely and pretty predictable course in the trio's interactions, heedful to details and not spoon-feeds us with their jeremiad. Soon, it is Tokue's wretched past emerges to the forefront, suggested by her gnarled fingers and deformed hands, she is indeed a victim of leprosy, had been secluded from the society in a sanatorium along with her likes for decades.

The sticking point of prejudice against Tokue's condition looms large, and begins to disintegrate their business success, in an almost wordless segment, Tokue knowingly bows out, and by the time Sentaro and Wakana finally visit her in the verdant sanatorium, Tokue looks rather anemic and we realize, the elision of lachrymose and saccharine is right around the next corner. The film may as well bring down its curtain there, without gilding the lily with the subsequent voice-over heavy addendum from both Tokue and Sentaro, the former passing her final animistic wisdom to exhort him (and audience alike), whereas the latter, finally lets on his tale of woe in misty-eyes.

What comes off squeaky clean is the two central performances, the venerable Kirin Kiki brilliantly conveys Tokue's senescence with sublime precision and then countervails it with a buoyant earnestness, balancing a fine line between dotty and astute, but never for a minute, sags into self- pity or mawkishness. In the case of Masatoshi Nagase, who is slated for a very different task to grapple with, Sentaro is in a way, self-ostracized under his carapace of miserabilism, and Nagase commendably curves out a lucid contour of Sentaro's inscape with great restraint and subtlety.

In the main, SWEET BEAN is a potently therapeutic melodrama, a tad errs on the side of sentimentality, but it is more like a fly in the ointment than a wrench in the works, moreover, Naomi Kawase's humane tack of storytelling and gossamer tangibility of the mise-en-scène, do speak volumes among the burgeoning conglomerate comprises of the ever-expanding working female filmmakers today.
Joni_Dep

Joni_Dep

A sweet story about strangers who meet and giving chances to people around you, as well as having a second chance in life. The main characters are outcasts by their society, misfits that they work together to produce the best sweet red bean paste pan cakes that quickly become popular. There is tragedy in the movie, but the makeshift family that those misfits create is sweet, as only those three could understand and support each other. The performances are great, without overdoing it with the dramatic element and thus making everything more realistic. The scenes are beautiful, with the spring cherry blossoms the meddle with the people's tragedies. Overall, a nice film, so 6 out of 10. PS even my mom who avoids Japanese (and non English films in general) loved it, if that helps.
Diab

Diab

Yes, as others write, it's quite sentimental, and slightly didactic, but it isn't so in a corny way. The pain and moral dilemmas it portrays are very relatable and at times almost too much too bear. Maybe it's just that I find depictions of kind and lonely old folks very touching. Speaking of, Kirin Kiki's performance is brilliant. She's the real deal. She was so convincing that I actually checked if she was someone who had suffered from leprosy. This is a film in the tradition of Kurosawa's 'Ikiru'. There is even a sort of key moment in the film where Tokue uses the phrase 'ikiru' (to live).
September

September

"An" is the story of a pancake-shop-owner, who searches an employee for his small shop and receives an application from a very old lady with odd-looking hands. At first he strongly refuses to hire her, but when he tastes her An, he gets a feeling that she could be a blessing for his business. As time goes by, the two of them and a shy school girl form close bonds, until the cold-hearted owner of the house forces him to fire herdue to her illness.

Somehow there's something special about this film. Although not much really happens, you can still sense a kind of chemistry that keeps you positive towards the plot. However, and that's probably an unpopular opinion, this is one of the few movies where I think a bit more Hollywood would actually suit the film well. As it is, the story is missing some ups and downs and even though I like how the shop becomes kind of a fix point in the lives of such different people, it is hard not to get distracted when almost nothing happens and even the warm and wise words of the old lady lose some value because it seems like the film has just been produced to embed them. Nontheless, this is a greatexample of how anyone can become an important person inour lives when we are open-minded enough.

All in all this is a beautiful film, lacking some tension. I do recommend a view because there's something special about the atmosphere, just don't expect anything fast.
Moralsa

Moralsa

I seldom look at my watch during a movie, but I looked at it a lot in this one. Very slow scenes. You could doze off at the beginning of a scene (say, someone walking down a country lane), and wake up to find the scene hasn't finished. You'll doze off often in this film.

And for what? The photography is nice, and the actors are fine. But the whole thing is like an oversweet pancake wrapped around a sentimental core of bean paste, delivering the message that society's rejects still have something to teach us, and that we shouldn't shun those who are different from us. Gee whiz. You could get the same message in an episode of Sesame Street, and have a lot more fun.
Berenn

Berenn

"Sweet Bean" pancakes are one of the most mouth-watering sweet snacks in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China. And again, Kirin Kiki, played an alarmingly superb role in this little film, a film so simple yet so profoundly great.

Kirin Kiki should be included in all the textbooks about "Performing Art" studies. If you like to be an actor, a great one, no matter what age group you belong, study her exotic performances in those films she'd appeared, then you might get something really important about the art of performing.
Mr.Bean

Mr.Bean

Sweet Bean (an/餡) viewed on Streaming. Makeup/prosthetic = nine (9) stars; subtitles = eight (8) stars; cinematography/lighting = five (5) stars. Director Naomi Kawase's multi-generational tale of cultural isolation and neglect, food preparation in a one-product mini pastry shop, and the viral nature of rumors (both positive and negative) and their impacts on small local businesses as well as landlord greed is a highly original mash up and compelling to watch. (Dorayaki are traditional Washoku (Japanese food) consisting of small pancakes filled with sweet (from sugar) red bean paste.) With a background that seems steeped in Shinto philosophy, the Director has created a very Japanese film. Kawase also provides a tutorial on proper bean-paste preparation. There are no plot surprises; everything is well telegraphed in advance (including the mostly happy endings). Acting is uni-formally quite good. Veteran actress Kirin Kiki (樹木希林) is a knock out in the role of an elderly pastry chef (and noninfectious victim of leprosy). Actor Masatoshi Nagase delivers a mostly workman like performance. Actress Kyara Uchida seems a bit too old to play a high school student. Cinematography (wide screen, color) and lighting are so-so. Scenes shot inside the mini bakery set can go in-and-out of focus. Other interior and night scenes are usually poorly lit to the point of preventing the viewer from seeing what's happening. Score is fine, but with a little bit too much piano. Subtitles are very good due in part to uncomplicated, straight-forward lines of dialog. Highly recommended. WILLIAM FLANIGAN, PhD.
Feri

Feri

I woke up and this film was on TV. I watched it for about 40 minutes and was gripped but knew I couldn't stay awake so pressed record as wanted to see how it ended, so glad that I did that. Unfortunately the tv had the title of the movie as a totally different film and I had to search the casts members names to bring me here. I watched it fully the next day and loved every minute of it. Definitely a wee film to see.
Vobei

Vobei

This is a sweet, tender and (dare I say it) important film. Gently explores a rarely discussed (or even mentioned) social reality for an little recognized group of human beings. Who knew that there existed an entire community of human beings who are being REQUIRED to live their lives in the shadows of our society? I loved Sweet Bean as a film. Very moving. Deeply human, without being preachy. A bit sentimental, but not overly so. Well done.
Yla

Yla

An is a red bean paste used in many Japanese sweets like dorayaki. This drama connects on an emotional level thanks to the beguiling Kirin Kiki who draws us in to her character's world with subtlety and care as we sense her vulnerability. But we never feel pity - we come to admire her bouyance and cheerfulness on screen and in absentia. However, other scenes not featuring Kiki, sentimentality and melodrama take hold. It's a small film but it lets the pictures do the talking.