Reel-View Ratings: The Bigger The Beard, The Better The Movie
A young, beautiful woman who has it all actually doesn’t in this surprisingly progressive Indian flick. Kaira (Alia Bhatt) is a budding filmmaker dissatisfied with her work, her boyfriends, society — so she starts seeing therapist Jehangir (Shah Rukh Khan) to work through various traumas and issues. The concept sounds trite, but it’s damn near groundbreaking for India, and therein lays this movie’s novelty. Though the pacing crawls early on, once doctor and patient meet, things light up. Their (platonic) chemistry is palpable, and a pleasure to behold.
Plays at 6 p.m. Jan. 7, 1 p.m. Jan. 8, and 1 and 7 p.m. Jan. 10 at Doris Duke Theatre
This slice-of-life film based on a long-running Japanese manga focuses on the unusual clientele of a late-night izakaya run by The Master (Kaoru Kobayashi). It’s slow, but deliberately so. This is supposed to be familiar, safe, homey — with shots of stew or hotdogs for ambiance. It’s surprising how not-boring the film manages to be as it dissects, casually, the many faces that filter in, be they yakuza or housewife or Fukushima survivor. Not every anecdote hits, but enough do to be satisfying, like The Master’s grated yam on rice. Plays at 12:45, 4:45 and 8:45 p.m. Dec. 30, and 11:30 a.m., 1:45, 4 and 8:30 p.m. Jan. 2 at the Movie Museum
PATISSERIE COIN DE RUE
Natsume (Yu Aoi), a plucky country girl from Kagoshima, heads to the big city of Tokyo to find her wayward boyfriend, only to inadvertently inherit his apprenticeship at famed Patisserie Coin de Rue. Her cakes are derided, the work is grueling and the customers — particularly one dour critic (Yosuke Eguchi) — are trying. But she endures until she succeeds, because that is just what one does in a foodie movie. The light-as-air plot is packed (like custard in a cream puff) full of food porn: loving shots of shiny puddings, fluffy whipped cream and juicy strawberries. So, at least there’s that.
Plays at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 31 at the Movie Museum