What vanished: her love, her belongings, and her voice.
What remained: her pickle jar.
A woman, traumatized by a broken heart, returns to her hometown to open up a small restaurant and restart her life. Her restaurant has no menu, and serves only one group of guests per day. But as people begin to realize, the food served there can change lives.
“Rinco’s Restaurant” represents the film adaptation of a 260,000 best-selling novel of the same name by Ito Ogawa published in January 2008 by Poplar Publishing Co. The novel won widespread acclaim, particularly among women in their 20s and 30s, and its author Ogawa was awarded Best Newcomer at the 7th Brilliant! King’s Brunch Book Awards.
The film stars Japan’s favorite leading actress, Kou Shibasaki [Crying Out Love, In the Center of the World (’04), La Maison de Himiko (’05), Star Reformer (’06), Dororo (’07), Shaolin Girl ’08, and Suspect X (’08)] in the role of a young woman who suffers from psychogenic aphonia (inability to speak) after an emotional breakup, and hopes to rediscover happiness by investing heart and soul into cooking. Shibasaki, who is known for her culinary talents in real life, does all her own “stunts,” concocting sumptuous dish after dish on the silver screen, while receiving magnificent support from veteran actress Kimiko Yo in the role of Rinco’s free-spirited mother, Ruriko, and Brother Tom as helpful confidante, Kuma-san. Rounding out the charismatic ensemble is Tetsushi Tanaka, Mirai Shida, Kyoko Enami, Tomokazu Miura, and a pet pig named Hermes, who shoulders a critical part in the story.
Director is Mai Tominaga, Winner of the Sundance NHK International Film Writer’s Prize for her first feature length film, “Wool 100%” (’05), and a rising young creative talent with a unique world view.
So devastated is Rinco (Kou Shibasaki) by a broken relationship that she loses the ability to speak, and returns to the bosom of her native home and free-spirited mother, Ruriko. Unsure of how to begin the healing process, Rinco is sure of one thing that makes her happy: cooking, and decides to open a small eatery that serves only one set of customers per day.
There is no menu. Instead, Rinco lets her culinary skills and imagination run wild, preparing miraculous meals customized to her guests’ tastes and fancies. Little by little, a rumor builds that the “Rinco’s restaurant” is the place to go for the fulfillment of one’s dreams. But will it be so for Rinco, who despite making others happy with her food, must resolve conflicts with her mother, and contend with an earth-shattering secret that has been kept from her.
Experience a delectable, warm-hearted tale about mother-daughter bonds rooted in a universal theme: “food is a key to life.”
- TOMINAGA Mai
- Original Story
- OGAWA Ito
- WATANABE Naoko
- TAKAI Hiroko
- KITA Nobuyasu
- WATABE Yoshimi
- Sound Recording
- HASHIMOTO Yasuo
- Release Date in Japan
- Running time