There are those luminous Japanese films whose emotional imprint remains on your heart for long hours after the end credits. Her Love boils Bathwater is one of those. With him, Japanese cinema once again proves its propensity to offer us beautiful and striking works. Discovery.

Her Love boils Bathwater is a feature film directed by Ryōta Nakano in 2016, who also signs the screenplay. It could almost end up on the list of your feel-good movies even though its synopsis would rather call for depression.

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Last moments of grace

Her Love boils Bathwater tells indeed the complicated daily life of Futaba Sachino, a single forty-something who raises her daughter Azumi as best she can, juggling her work in a bakery and her role as an authoritarian mother figure at home. This courageous mother never loses her smile, however, and does everything to make the existence of the people around her as light as possible. Alas, the disease gets involved and she learns that she is have end-stage cancer of the pancreas and that his days are numbered.

Her relationship with her daughter is at a crossroads as the young Azumi, 16, is at a turning point when she is no longer really a child but not yet an adult. At school, his introverted and dreamy side makes him the perfect target to be bullied by some of his classmates. Futaba does not want to leave her on her own and will leave in a quest against time to prepare her for this life after she will have to live without her mother.

Merry melancholy

Still clinging to the smile of this mother who somehow hides her sadness to know that she will not see her offspring become an adult woman, we follow Futaba’s desire to do well with strength and respect. She has accepted her fate and wants to leave with peace of mind knowing that the future that awaits her daughter after her disappearance will hold great promises.

Her Love boils Bathwater is a bittersweet movie which upsets us and brings us onto the slippery slope of dramatic comedy. The staging is in the sobriety of this emotion and offers some very beautiful shots that don’t need words to mark us with their power.

Even if tears often come to the corner of our eyes, the feature film is meant to be optimistic in its ultimately positive message which leaves much room for courage, for redemption and reminds us that nothing is ever all white or all gray.

Her Love Boils Water: a duo of great actresses

If the film is so successful, it is for its beautiful story, but also for the larger-than-life scores of Rie Miyazawa and Hana Sugisaki.

It’s hard not to smile and cry at the same time as the first one who interprets this mother with accuracy, sobriety and far from pathos. The second is of disconcerting fragility. Like a young bird that has fallen from the nest, we only want to take it under our wing and defend it against this life that it is not ready to face alone.

All the professionals of Japanese cinema did not miss the exceptional performances of the two interpreters. The actresses received many awards on the archipelago : Rye Miyazawa received the award for best actress at Hochi Film Award, at Nikkan Sports Film Award, to the Japanese Movie Critics Awards and the Japan Academy Prize, which is the Japanese equivalent of the César in France. Hana Sugisaki was honored with the Best Supporting Actress award in the same ceremonies and also walked away with the Hope of the Year award at the Japan Academy Prize.

Stephane Hubert


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