Mar 16, 2020
Sweet Bean is sentimental fare for sure, but sometimes familiar tastes prove quite a comfort.
Aug 9, 2016
Sweet Bean's gentle, quiet drama shares DNA with the work of Kawase's compatriot, Hirokazu Koreeda. Sweet by name, sweet by nature.
Aug 7, 2016
For the most part, the quality of the dignified, understated performances here prevents the picture from tipping into cloying sentimentality.
Aug 5, 2016
No pretension or faux-poeticism - just a well-made domestic drama.
Aug 4, 2016
For viewers unfamiliar with Kawase's oeuvre, Sweet Bean provides a better entry point than its laboured predecessor, Still the Water.
Aug 4, 2016
Ostensibly, a lovingly made study of homemade cooking and old-fashioned values, this beautifully played drama also contains a mordant denunciation of the lack of compassion that shapes Japanese attitudes to social stigma.
Apr 29, 2016
An is both [Kawase's] simplest and most accessible work, unfolding as it does a simple, universal story about the need to hand down skills from generation to generation.
Apr 27, 2016
If it is possible to be at once clear-eyed and sentimental, Kawase achieves that in this heartbreakingly beautiful film.
Apr 8, 2016
Its sentimentality is tempered by the elegant restraint of the fine lead performances.
Apr 7, 2016
Ms. Kawase's sweet, slow film -- very slow, I'm obliged to say -- becomes a meditation on solitary lives lived at the margins of society; on old age, and on the urgency of telling our stories, which may sometimes include recipes.
Apr 7, 2016
Ultimately Kawase is more interested in charting emotional and sensory landscapes than in thinking through any narrative thread, yet there's something to be said for the movie's sincerity and simple beauty.
Apr 7, 2016
Kawase handles the material delicately and skillfully, and Kirin - a one-time ingenue actress whose first important film was in one of the early "Tora-san" movies - hits all the right notes.
Mar 18, 2016
A delicate little fable that creeps up on you. It seems slight at first, but it's held together by a performance from the veteran actress Kirin Kiki
Mar 18, 2016
The movie, beautifully shot and acted, earns its ultimate sense of hope by confronting real heartbreak head-on, and with compassion.
Mar 17, 2016
While this is Kawase's most straightforward, accessible movie, it's also perhaps her dullest, sustaining a single maudlin note for nearly two hours.
Mar 15, 2016
A celebration not just of homemade cooking but of taking your time and doing it right - precisely what the celebrated director does herself.
Sep 16, 2015
The film's inoffensive simplicity suggests finger-painting, and offers about as much sophistication in terms of character development and theme.
Jul 20, 2015
It's not the stuff of Shakespearean drama, and in fact is barely enough to squeeze a few tears out of audiences into sentimental fare.
Jul 20, 2015
I must confess to feeling exasperated by the sentimentality and stereotype being served up. The film has an impeccable technical finish, but it is insipid, contrived, solemn, and ever so slightly preposterous.
Jul 20, 2015
Naomi Kawase's gentle study of life, loss and confectionery is easily the Japanese auteur's most accessible work to date.