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Kamome Diner (2006)
"Kamome shokudô" (original title)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,017 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 7 critic

Where are we welcome? On a quiet street in Helsinki, Sachie has opened a diner featuring rice balls. For a month she has no customers. Then, in short order, she has her first customer, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Satomi Kobayashi ...
Sachie
Hairi Katagiri ...
Midori
Masako Motai ...
Jarkko Niemi ...
Tommi Hiltunen
Tarja Markus ...
Liisa
...
Matti
Anita Linnasola
Eine Räihä ...
(as Eine Raiha)
Marjatta Salin
Pentti Heinonen
Pertti Roisko
Irja Punnonen
Pekka Punnonen
Jussi Vehviläinen ...
(as Jussi Vehvilainen)
Milja Huimala
Edit

Storyline

Where are we welcome? On a quiet street in Helsinki, Sachie has opened a diner featuring rice balls. For a month she has no customers. Then, in short order, she has her first customer, meets Midori, a gangly Japanese tourist, and invites her to stay with her, and meets Masako, a formal and ethereal middle-aged woman whose luggage has gone missing. The three women work in the diner, interact, and serve customers. A somewhat brusque man teaches Sachie to make delicious coffee, then he returns under other circumstances. Three neighborhood women inspect the empty diner every day; will anything bring them inside? We learn why Sachie serves rice balls; but why Finland? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

diner | based on novel | See All (2) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

29 September 2006 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Kamome Diner  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Come for the food, stay for the companionship
3 July 2009 | by (Philippines) – See all my reviews

Like the items from the menu of its titular establishment, "Kamome Diner" may be deceptively simple, yet within it is an amusing and sometimes hilarious contemplation on living in a foreign land, accompanied by droll performances and oozing sincerity so keen to please it would be churlish to fully dismiss. Naoki Ogigami's travelogue-slash-food show revels so much in its simplicity and oddity it's to the writer-director's credit that she succeeds on pulling it off with a material that sometimes border on sheer kink.

Sachie (Satomi Kobayashi) solely runs Kamome Diner (Ruokala Lokki), a restaurant in Helsinki she envisions catering to Finns looking for other than the typical Japanese fare -- a dream that, judging from the perpetually empty tables and chairs, is getting a cruel disappointment. Never getting more than curious stares from passersby, wheels of change start turning soon, however, with Sachie's first customer, an apparent Japanophile (Jarkko Niemi) whose eagerness to start up a small talk with her paves the way to meeting with Midori (Hairi Katagiri), a Japanese woman who is in Finland, as she explains in one of the film's most comical moments, by blind luck. Midori strikes a friendship with Sachie and helps in maintaining the diner, which gradually sees patrons trickle in even as Sachie develops a bond with some of the restaurant's customers.

Essentially a dissertation on the Maslowian hierarchy, Ogigami incrementally surrounds her characters with the core components for the survival of man (or woman, for that matter) by having them realize first the significance of basic necessities (the need to earn, the need for lodging, the need to find a lost luggage, etc) before they learn the value of peripheral essentials such as the camaraderie among themselves and the eventual self-actualization of Sachie as a restaurateur. The warm cinematography by Tuomo Virtanen lends a homey feel to the quaint diner -- a rather cramped but cozy place in the otherwise large but damp Finnish capital -- that furthers the empathetic kinship within its walls, a pleasing, if not perfect, marriage of the hospitable Japanese and the laid back Finn.


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