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429 Ratings

Sweet Bean


Directed by Naomi Kawase
Japan, France, 2015


Sentaro runs a small bakery that serves dorayaki pastries filled with sweet red bean paste (“an”). When an old lady, Tokue, offers to help in the kitchen he reluctantly accepts. She will soon prove to have magic in her hands…

Sweet Bean Directed by Naomi Kawase
This maybe won’t be the film that has Kawase fast-tracked into the auteur A-leagues, but it certainly shows that she can “do” robust, conventional storytelling, and then add some late-game ingredients which serve to sweeten rather than sour the overall taste.
August 05, 2016
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Despite its more sentimental tone, aesthetically the new film adheres closely to the template she established at the beginning of her career, with the phases of the protagonists’ shifting relationships relayed as impressionist fragments of everyday life against the changing seasons… But the director’s characteristically mawkish dialogue in the accompanying voiceover… may leave some viewers wishing that the centre of this latest confection were a little less cloying.
August 04, 2016
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While this is Kawase’s most straightforward, accessible movie, it’s also perhaps her dullest, sustaining a single maudlin note for nearly two hours.
March 17, 2016
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