Sweet Bean: this Kawase Naomi’s drama is unhurried, sweet, almost hypnotic. It’s a story knee-deep in humanity, as the trio of characters from different generations interacts with each other, trying to get rid of their respective pains and troubles. The acting is quiet but effective, from all central performers. Kiki Kirin gives an enchanting performance as the gentle motor of change, frail but undeterred in her will to enjoy life. Nagase Masatoshi’s performance is particularly touching, with so many emotions deeply bottled-up. Kyara Uchida’s role is smaller and simpler, but she is fine. The film has a simple look, but that’s not to knock down the work of the director of photography Akiyama Shigeki, who creates beautiful images bathed in soft light. The musical score, by composer David Hadjadj, is very soothing, a great match to the tone of the film.