Her Love Boils Bathwater (2016) Poster

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Powerful film that leaves viewers with great emotional impact
reimondo-ag8 December 2017
This is a great film, showcasing how strong a woman and a mother can be. This is a story of an extremely mentally strong woman who has touched the lives of people around her some close, some not so.

I have managed to watch this film as part of the film festival in Sydney and this was the movie that I was most emotionally felt and touched. This film made me remember my mother who was as equally strong mentally and supported me and my siblings alone. was hard to hold back my tears. Not just me, the other audience must have felt too as I heard a few people crying.

Not only she, herself is strong, but she also showed the others in need how to get stronger and supported the people around her. The people in turn supported her when she was in need of their help. And they are so willing to do anything for her.

This is a film about family struggles, undying toughness when faced with adverse reality, the importance of the care, love and support of loved ones. Very aptly titled film - her love is so strong and heated that it can even boil water.
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Tragedy, Secrets, and Twisted Roots.
net_orders24 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER / BURNING LOVE ENOUGH TO BOIL WATER (YU WO WAKASUHODO NO ATSUI AI). Viewed at CineMatsuri 2017. Screenplay = nine (9) stars; cinematography/lighting = eight (8) stars; sound = seven (7) stars; score = seven (7) stars; subtitles/translations = seven (7) stars. Director Ryôta Nakano, working from his dazzling screenplay, provides an emotionally over-the-top and tearful family tale intertwined with humor and marked with multiple surprise (actually, bombshell) endings. It's quite a show featuring strong female characters defined by actresses who deliver dynamite performances (see below). Nakano's plot involves a De Facto family matriarch who is determined to pull together a fractured family, reopen the family's shuttered bathhouse business, and (you guessed it) re-starting the boiling of bathwater before succumbing (in a few weeks) to an unexpected and recently diagnosed fatal illness (the big "C"). The Director, of course, is working within the ever popular Japanese "Gaman" film genre (where protagonists persevere despite seemingly overwhelming odds and achieve a tear-wrenching triumph). An exceptionally strong cast is lead by actresses Rie Miyazawa (who plays the condemned over-achieving mother), Hana Sugisaki (a teenager heretofore lacking a backbone and a father), and Aoi Ito (a precocious nine-year old lacking a birth mother). The ancestry of these three is not as it appear to be initially. Cinematography/projection (wide-screen (1: 2.35), DCP, color) and lighting are outstanding. Sound is solid but full surround effects seem to be lacking. Score is perky and adds to scenes. Subtitles are good enough, but translations of signs and other text is occasionally missing. A not-to-be-missed movie! WILLIAM FLANIGAN, PhD.
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Bathed in Tears
politic19835 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
It's funny how some coincidences happen. Just before going to watch Ryota Nakano's "Her Love Boils Bathwater" I read Mark Schilling's review of Seijiro Koyama's "Sakura" from his book "Contemporary Japanese Film". To start, he quote Donald Richie with whom he watched the film: "Now that was a Japanese movie." This is a statement that could be lodged firmly at the start of any review for Nakano's film.

So I went there. Featuring a cast of people you have definitely seen in other films, this is a classic Japanese movie of a constant barrage of turmoil heaved our heroine's way, forcing her to dig deep to overcome adversity, with a big dollop of "we can succeed if we all pull together" spirit.

Futaba (Rie Miyazawa) is a single mother to her sole daughter Azumi (Hana Sugisaki). Living at their now defunct public bathhouse - the owner, her husband, having "disappeared like steam" - she works in a bakery while Azumi struggles with bullying at school. On learning she has terminal pancreatic cancer, she feels it's time to re-ignite an old flame.

Having located her husband Kazuhiro (man of hair Joe Odagiri), via a Japanese staple PI (Taro Suruga), she drags him, and his illegitimate daughter Ayuko (Aoi Ito), back to the bathhouse to open its doors once more. As Futaba's illness worsens, so do Azumi's school troubles, but tears provoke strength in her daughter to overcome the bullies and take on her share of responsibility for the bathhouse.

Planning one final road trip with the girls to see Mount Fuji, Futaba has one final revelation for Azumi: she is not her real mother. It is following this that Futaba's health takes a turn for the worse, seeing out her final days in a hospital bed while her family keep the bathhouse waters running.

In the world of "Her Love Boils Bathwater", the turmoil that needs to be overcome seems to be that of abandoning mothers: Ayuko has been abandoned by her mother, left with her loafing buffoon of a father; PI Takimoto is always accompanied by his young daughter after his wife died in childbirth; and as we discover, Azumi is not Futaba's daughter, but the child of the deaf-mute ex-wife of Kazuhiro.

All of these young women find a surrogate mother-figure in Futaba, showing her strength of character to help raise and comfort them, despite, as we learn, having been abandoned by her own mother when a young child. All this doesn't exactly paint a great image of mothers, but also makes Miyazawa and her relationships with her fellow cast members the strength of the film.

Nakano tried to build close relationships between the cast during shooting, creating an almost temporary family among them. And this works. The young "daughters" respond well to Futaba when she's at both her most strict and caring, and grow as Futaba declines. This is a far cry from Odagiri's performance as the seemingly apathetic Kazuhiro. He seems to perpetually play the role of an eighteen year-old boyfriend responding to his girlfriend's calls to meet her parents, while smoking a cigarette, but he does this with an effortless cool; the perfect foil to Futaba's strength.

But while the acting and character relations are strong, the Japanese movie Richie was referring to perhaps sends this film into overkill territory. Adversity is slapped around our faces like a wet fish, with tears thrown straight into our eyes by the bucket-load. This somewhat detracts from the power of Futaba's struggle, with certain elements that could have been removed. Poignancy can come a little more subtly.

When I watched Akio Kondo's"Eclair" I was perhaps somewhat naive in my conclusions. While indentifying the over-sentimentality on display, I should have perhaps been more aware of the staple diet of Japanese commercial cinema and its need to tick boxes. You simply must have someone give someone a bike ride. The "all pulling together" spirit of the film's conclusion is as cheesy as it is sickly sweet.

Put forward as Japan's 2017 Oscar submission, this is a film that certainly represents Japanese film. The fact that it wasn't put forward for nomination, however, reflects its overall quality.
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We can all learn something from this
back2mine30 July 2022
What a beautiful movie .. an emotional rollercoaster of a film .. superb acting by all the cast and a story line that leaves you reflecting life on many different levels .. highly recommended.
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The rating Should Have Been Higher
erp-that-sucks26 March 2022
Because the story does have some heartfelt moments and good acting by the lead actress. However, it is dragged down by a lack of a definitive ending, a lack of an explanation on the husband's thinking or motivation and while we see the almond eyed teen disrobe (+2) she is too fat to really make us hot (-1) and so it is not as high yield as expected. Her bully class-mates would have been better undressed.

Worth a watch.
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