7.3/10
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26 user 131 critic

Sweet Bean (2015)

An (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 30 May 2015 (Japan)
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1:44 | Trailer

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Burdened with a heavy and ever-increasing debt, a dorayaki baker hires a kind ageing woman, after tasting her delicious surprise. Little by little, she unravels her beautiful inner world. Could she be holding the secret to his success?

Director:

Naomi Kawase

Writers:

Durian Sukegawa (based on the novel by), Naomi Kawase (screenplay)
7 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Kirin Kiki ... Tokue
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 ... Yôhei
Wakato Kanematsu Wakato Kanematsu ... Wakato
Miyoko Asada Miyoko Asada ... Shop Owner's Wife
Etsuko Ichihara Etsuko Ichihara ... Yoshiko
Edit

Storyline

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. Written by pagurus

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Sweet Taste Of Life.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Japan | France | Germany

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

30 May 2015 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Sweet Bean See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

JPY234,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,630, 20 March 2016

Gross USA:

$124,800

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,728,350
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Connections

Features Listen to the Azuki's Voice (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Small, heartfelt, feel good movie
14 February 2016 | by rubenmSee all my reviews

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.


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