Sukiyaki (1995)

Genres - Comedy  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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Referencing not the popular 1963 tune but the popular dish consisting of boiling beef and onions, Junichi Suzuki directs this low-key family drama about a Western-style restaurant called the Boston Grill in Yokohama's Isezaki-cho. The owner of the establishment is Hanako (Sachiko Hidari), who has fashioned a successful restaurant based on her sumptuous sukiyaki. Her health is spiraling southwards thanks to Alzheimer's disease. She finds herself suddenly reliving the terrors of the war and wandering off to remote corners of the neighborhood. Her harried son, Ryohei (Tamio Kawachi), is trying to run the restaurant himself with fair to middling success. His daughter, Yuka (Yuka Sekiya), wants to help her father and grandmother more, but her epilepsy makes her fearful of venturing too far from home. Ryohei's other daughter (Rika Sekiya) thus shoulders far more family responsibility than she'd like. In addition to working days at the local post office, she waits tables at night at the family's biz. Meanwhile, a straight-laced salesman (Jin Yamaguchi) is quietly pursuing Rika, though she isn't interested. Yet when she meets a crude but handsome ship's cook (Kai Shishido) who has a gift for the culinary arts, Rika's life changes for the better.



family-responsibilities, restaurant, Alzheimer's-Disease, epilepsy, postal-worker, romance, waiter, love, role-switching, cooking, sailor, twins