Taberu Onna (2018) - full transcript

Following the premise of the novel of the same name, Taberu Onna, the film zooms in on the ins and outs and comings and goings of the daily lives of eight women in Japan including a Western...

Hear that?

Trickle trickle.

You do?

Nope. I'm just saying that.

Come on.

But it is kind of magical.


I mean, there's water running below our feet.

My mom says...

there are rivers under Tokyo no one remembers.

Your mom knows a lot of neat stuff.

Let's go home.

"Bookshop Mochi Tree"




Back from your walk? Come.

Good kitty.

Did you have a good walk?

You're filthy.

My blood flows a bright red through my body

Even the worms, even the crickets,
even the water striders

How can you cut with those nails?

Nails make the woman.

In school, you colored them with a highlighter.

Did I?

Yup. It caused a scandal.

You got highlighters banned.

Even in grade school, I understood womanhood.

What's cooking?

Yum. You two are kitchen magicians.

Stop snitching and help.

Fine fine.

"Tonight's Menu"

Horse mackerel in sour cream,
grilled wings with rock salt...

potato salad, simmered ground beef
and vermicelli chinois...

homemade rice bran pickles
and mini sake sweet buns.

Set the table, Tamiko!



"Eating Women"

What is it?

Your face really brightens when you're eating.

You think so?

I was hoping to get your manuscript today.

How's it going?

Time to serve the sweet buns.

Hey! Tonko!

So Mifuyu, which one did you "devour"?

Really want to know?



I felt bad having to choose.
They were both so cute.

Cradle robber.

So how old were those part-timers?

20 and 24.

That's criminal.

Wow. That blows my mind.

I cook up a mean lunch.

And the way to the heart is through the stomach.

And yet she's always looking for new part-timers.

It keeps things lively.

Know any good boys, Tamiko?

You'll just prey on them. How about a girl?

Boring. I prefer a tasty boy, please.

See, you're devouring him already.

Where do you get the energy?

Dodo, what about you?

Unlike you, I can't be bothered with men.

I'm good.

Wait much longer
and they won't want to bother with you.

I just find it easier to be alone. The freedom.

I'm fully satisfied without men.

You did just buy a condo with hotel-like hallways.

So sue me.

An ivory tower to keep out run-of-the-mill men.

A co-worker said it best.

For every year a woman ages...

she adds another condition
to the man she'll accept.

Not subtracts.

If you're too choosy, you'll miss out.

Never mind me. What about you, Tamiko?

Yeah, the guy who can cook.

That one.


You broke up?


You cheated? He cheated?

Nothing like that.

Then what?

He asked me to marry him.

Is that all? Congrats.

I'm not accepting.

Why not try it once.

I'm just not feeling it.

Him? Or marriage?

Both I guess.

He's an illustrator with time for you.

You have the same taste in music.

He can cook, the sex seems fine.
What's the downside here?

It's lukewarm.


There's no tingle of heat.

Like sitting in a warm bath with your clothes on.

I get that, and don't get that.

What's more,
men have stopped hitting on me completely.

Ever since I've been with him.

I'm no longer secreting pheromones.


I figured we were a one-night fling.

I screamed aloud when I awoke the next morning.

A naked man was sleeping next to me.

What guy has sex and then stays till morning?

Before I knew it, two years had passed.

Poor Tamiko.

Illicit love affairs was all you'd ever known.

You say that so sentimentally.

You're right. I'm being sentimental.
Here, drink up!

Pour me some wine.

Filled to the brim.

Bottoms up!

Drink, drink!

That was delicious.
I mean, when is it not delicious?

I should hope so.

Made by a restaurant owner
and a professional food critic...

who'll miss a deadline, but never a meal.

I'm letting you off this time.

Try to make your deadlines, okay?

Get home safely, you all!

See you next month?

What? Let's keep drinking.

Sorry, early food prep tomorrow.
I just lost my young staff.

Forget her then. It's you and me, Babe.

I'm renewing my driver's license in the morning.

Don't get too smashed.

"Kyoko Koizumi"

"Erika Sawajiri"

"Atsuko Maeda"

"Alice Hirose"

"Yu Yamada"

"Mitsu Dan"

"Charlotte Kate Fox"

"Kyoka Suzuki"

"Story and screenplay by Tomomi Tsutsui"

"Directed by Jiro Shono"

I don't know who named it
"The Mochi House"...

but it's old and has a mochi tree out front.

The owner goes by the name "Tonko."
"Eating Women"

From the Natsume Soseki novel,

"I Am a Cat."

The Mochi House is a quiet perch
for free and lonely women...

fluttering through the Tokyo cityscape.

One such woman, Tamiko,
finding herself alone on the streets...

beats her wings in search
of her next source of light.

Evening, Tamiko.

My friends abandoned me.

You're getting big.

How far along?

Eight months.

"Mommy" is a worker.

I saw your TV drama up through
your name in the credits.

Thanks for sticking it out.

What does an "assistant producer" do, anyway?

Well, to put it simply...

I keep the peace between egotistical directors,
inflexible writers...

spoiled actors, angry sponsors
and producers who...

run from responsibility.

Not simple at all.

Your dark rum soda.

Thanks a million.

My pleasure.

Hors d'oeuvre?


My latest creation... pickled beets.

Let me see.

Drum roll.

Mm, wonderful!

- Really?
- Mmm!


I should've made him a steak.

My darling Sabu!

Made who a steak?

She thinks her ex dumped her for always
cooking with ground beef.

That's ridiculous.


Forgive me.

She's hammered.

I tried to cut her off

but she gave me such a sad puppy look.

Shinozaki, one more drink please.

Enough is enough.
You're starting to leak alcohol from your skin.

Ouch. That hurts.


Hers, too.

Oh, okay.



Shiraishi! Long time!

Good evening.

This is my castle.

Buying a condo freed me from relying on a man.

Except for thrills.

And yet I haven't had a man in 4 years.

I've steadily forgotten how to meet a man,
much less date one.

Next in line.

Chicken bowl, please.

One chicken!

Here's your curry.

Oops. Ouch!

- Excuse me.
- Sorry.

Excuse me. Are you all right?

Yes, I'm fine.

Chicken bowl.

Did I spill on you?

No, I'm fine. Really.

"Crispy Milanese Pizza"

Welcome home.

Another late night? You must be tired.

Hey, wait a second!




Do you know why I've been coming home late?

Sure. You're busy with work.

I know it's tough.

I'm having an affair.

I'm having an affair.

I thought you knew.

Are you serious?

And you were choosing to ignore it...

because you believed that's what a good wife does.

I wasn't.

I want to eat good food.

This pizza's good.

It's the best I've found so far.

It's frozen food.

I want a good, home-cooked meal.

When we got married,
you said you didn't care if I couldn't cook.



Where're you going?

I want a divorce.

I'm tired of hearing that microwave!

When will you return?

I won't be, got it?

Yes, the cover photo's fine.

We meet again.

I'm terribly sorry for the other day.

It's no problem.

I nearly soiled your clothes with curry.

But you didn't. It's fine.

Let me make it up to you.

Do you like scabbard fish?

What fish?

I got great specimens at a food expo.

I was thinking muniere.

They're quite big... plenty for two.

They'd go well with a salad of
watercress, radish and udo root.

With Japanese pepper dressing.

And seared tofu in ginger soy sauce.

How does that sound? Care to join me?

Excuse me?

Let me make amends by
serving as your personal chef.

What am I doing?

Is this all a big mistake? Or a bad dream?

But dreams never smell this good.

That was amazing.

Thank you.

This was a great unexpected pleasure.

"Divorce Registration"


May I?


It's delicious.


What brings you here midday?

These. I came to share them.

Fava beans.

Yup. Your favorite.

So good.

This is so presumptuous of you.

Why not? You only use one room in this house.

Not true. I use other rooms for whatchamacallit.

For what?

For my vacuum cleaner.

A room just for your vacuum cleaner?

That girl's been through a lot.
Her husband just left her.

She has no family in the U.S. anymore.

She wants to make her life here.

And you'd turn a blind eye?

You've become such a meddler.

Well she loves my food.

I've never seen anybody
enjoy it the way she did.

Then you take her in.

I can't.
What if my next squeeze trainee shows up?

That doesn't apply to me?

Well, it doesn't.

I can't argue that.

Just put her up on a trial basis. Please, for me.

This is the kitchen.

It's very nice.

Let me introduce someone.

This is Shiratama.

Hi, Shiratama.

So cute! Hello.


Wow. You're good.

Keep washing.


Grab me a medium plate.


Like this?


I'm so sorry.

Don't move. It's dangerous.


Just stand back.

Okay, continue.


Are you getting along with Tonko?

Yes. She's been extremely kind.

Good. She's a good woman
despite her hard exterior.

She lost her parents when young.

And her beloved grandma.

The one man she truly loved also fell ill.

Tonko was still only 29 when he died.

"I'm cursed" she'd say.

"Everybody I love dies on me."

She's terrible at being happy,

but loves to please others.

She's a good person.

I love her to bits.

Good evening. I'm back.

Welcome home.

Let me do that.

Very cute panties.

I'll get you some.

For me?

They'd look great.

I like to keep my bellybutton covered.

I'll get you large ones.

It's a deal.

Can I ask something?

That well outside.

Is it really dried up?

Is there...

any water down there?

Oh my God! Ow, ow, ow!

You all right?

Sorry. I followed a cat in here.

What're you doing?

I'm digging out this old well to see
if there's any water down there.

I want to revive it.

You're digging?

Oh no. Professionals are doing it.

They told me not to go in, actually.

Is this well connected to the underground river?

Um... yeah, maybe.



May I visit it again?

Yes. You may.

Cute little girl with a school pack
and a bag of groceries.


Dad! I'm making minced meat cutlets.

My favorite.

Ta dah.

A postcard from Morn!

"Dear Yura, I'll be home soon.

Can't wait to see you. Love, Morn"

So pretty.


Don't you get lonely with
her traveling all the time?

Nope. Me and morn communicate through telepathy.



I tried that outlet recipe you gave me.

How'd it go?

Did "She" like it?

"She"? Why yes... "she" did.

I'll teach you roll cabbage next.

The secret to cooking is making it with love.

Yura's mother is a world traveler.

The man she lives with isn't her real dad.

But she and "Tetta Papa" are close.

I was close with my dad, too.

But he left home nearly 3 years ago.

Hungry, hungry, I'm so hungry!

Look! It's Mommy! Mommy!

Mommy, Mommy!

That's our mother.

She's a professional ear model.


You're home.

Sorry I missed Parents Day today.

Next time.

It's okay. You'll wake Ryuji.




Your ears could definitely
hear the underground river.

I can't breathe.

Hey, stop that.

You asked for it. Now you're in trouble.

Me, too!

You awoke to be tickled, huh?

You too, Midori.

Be delicious.

Be delicious.

Tonko! I've come for my manuscript!


Why're you locking me out?

I thought you were a burglar.

How many burglars ring the doorbell?

Where're you going?

You're cooking, which means the manuscript is done.

Today's the deadline. Now.

I write when I can write. I don't when I can't.

How golden those look.

Want to try one?

No, I've got to be somewhere.

An engagement?

You could call it that.

Found a good man?

Absolutely not.
There's no good man. I haven't.

I'll be back in two days. Your last extension.


Mari Mori's My World of Beauty.

Chiyo Uno's My Longevity Cooking.

Gensai Murai's Gourmandise.

Toulouse Lautrec's The Art of Cuisine.



Thank you.

"My World of Beauty Mari Mori"

A delicious book.


I've made nearly every dish
in this book. All fabulous.

Especially the scooped egg custard in clear soup.

With a Russian salad recipe.

Brought home from Germany by her father,
novelist Ogai Mori.

Something smells good.

Care to try some?

I just grilled up some golden brown chicken wings.

No, I couldn't.

This used bookstore specializes in books
on the culinary arts.

Eating good food is my trade.

An elegant pursuit.
Well then, if you'd like to share.

Then take a seat.

I'll be right back.

I've never eaten fish shabu-shabu.

Greenling is good as sashimi

but even tastier this way.


Will you join me in a drink?

I'd be delighted.

I'll make a snack.

No, please. Allow me.

My friends call me "Dodo."

The character "Doh" (dirt) is in my name twice.

But I'm Keiko.

His face looks familiar. What could it be?

An animal, perhaps?

Like a river otter?

What am I doing?

Oh what the hell. One time couldn't hurt.

What? Chest hair?

What's this?

His lips feel pretty nice.

Do you like butterfish?


Simmered over low heat...

brings out its natural flavors.

Natural... flavors.

Served with grilled eggplant.

Egg... plant.

And a cucumber, seaweed...

and whitebait vinaigrette.

Plus a clear soup of myoga ginger
and whisked egg.

You steam the rice
with fresh ginger and let it steep.

My castle gate breached,
Tanabe streams in.

With fragrant food wafting in the air...

he drives deeper and deeper...

into my castle fortress.

We're going on a picnic?


Where? Where?

You'll just have to wait and see.

Come on. Tell me!

No. It'll ruin the surprise.

I know. Mt. Kogane!

That's too close by.
Somewhere farther, right?

Could be.

It's Mt. Kogane for sure!

Picnic! Picnic! Picnic!

Picnic! Picnic!

Picnic! Picnic!


Who is it?

Who's there?

Parcel delivery.


Up for a picnic, Dear?

The whole family together.


Midori and Ryuji helped with the food.

Your favorite apricot jam sandwiches.

Don't be silly. What's going on here?

We wanted to go on a picnic with you.
So we're here.

Who is it?

It's no one.

We're his family.
We're inviting him to a picnic.


Never mind. Stay there.

How've you been? You look well.

What're you expecting me to do here?

It's just such a beautiful day.

Listen. We're no longer...

It's no use talking.

Please stop this.

Well, let's go on our picnic.

Zoom zoom! Picnic!


Ryuji, I'm eating all the food!

No, wait!

Wipe your hands first.

Picnic! Picnic!

Sit down and eat.




Have some, Midori.

Wine? No, thanks.

Just drink it.

Mom, wine tastes awful.

It'll get better.

Yuck. Never.

It Will.

It won't.

It Will.

Mom tasted salty.

The sour and bitter wine mixed
with mom's salty tears.

My first taste of wine.


You look prettier.

Guess what?

I want to show you something.

That's a different person.

Who is she?

There's no water yet, but I'm sure it'll come.

The air feels cooler here,
so I sense there's water.

See for yourself.

Feel it?

I do!


We're running way late.

This director can be very persistent.

How old are you?

Old enough to be take offense?

I'm 29.


Does approaching 30 make you nervous at all?

We're starting soon!


We're starting!

I left ratatouille in the fridge.
Just saute the chicken.

I'll rush home.

Why do you have to be so considerate?

I don't deserve it.
I'm a bad girl. I want junk food.

Don't you get that?

Hello? Yes.

Replacing the scene? Understood.

Excuse me. Where's Studio 3?


Thank you.

Okay, I'll get right on it.

One more, Tamami.

Nope. That's all.

Shiraishi's not into women.
Don't try to seduce him.

I wouldn't do that. Come on now.



Yeah, these are the ones I wanted. Thanks.

Who's that guy?

You mean Jun? He's the owner.

He's kind of known as a jazz LP collector.

He'll shake a cocktail on occasion.

Are they any good?

Every one is different.

I see. So he's Tamami's ex-husband.

Kind of sexy.

Want to try my anchovies?

I sure do!

Me, too.

I'm such a klutz.

Oh... thank you very much.

You're very welcome.


Easy now! Can you make it home?

No problem. I live real close by.

Got a boyfriend?

That was sudden.

I meant a boyfriend waiting for you.

That's too personal.

Here, let me help.

Close by?

Very. Right there.

That building?

Oops, I did it again.



Training's done.

You've earned this.

Thank you.

"Divorce Registration"

All packed?


What's so funny?

I've never seen you use that mattress beater
to beat mattresses.


Food I made from money I earned.

It's such a basic thing.

But I can't tell you how happy I am.

Tonko, I don't know
what I would've done without you.

Thank you for being there for me.

They say when people
eat good food or make love...

they're furthest from violence,
war and prejudice.


You need a partner for sex,
but you can make food anytime.

Never compromise, Sister.

Tonight's our last meal together.


Hey, it's me.

We met at a vending machine.

Yeah. What's up?

Can I come over?

Sure... See ya.



Hold it.

What's with you?

I enjoy being wanted by someone.

I love having a man atop me,
feeling him climax and find peace.

I also love watching a man
devour my minced meat dishes.

Cheap, quick and simple is my motto.

I'm like minced meat.

Oh no. Gotta run.


Early day tomorrow.

Great food. Thanks.



Doesn't Dodo lately look like a woman in love?

Yeah, for sure. There's a softer air about her.


Are you saying I was a prickly bitch?

See? Getting defensive.

I'm not in love. So shut up.

How about you?
How is it with your devoted man?

Beats me.

I could be afraid.

I spent so much time in affairs.

I'm scared to live with someone,
and scared to be alone.

Something wrong?

Nope, we're good.

You can go, Shinozaki. I'll clean up.

Okay. Thanks.

Leaving, Shinozaki?


We should go, too.

Walk with us, Shinozaki.

I'd be honored.

- Good night.
- Take care.

- Good night.
- Good night.


Just one, okay?

Pinky swear.


How many kids do you have?

Three... 9, 7 and 4.

This makes four.


They're all adorable.

Why'd you break up with the owner?

He fell in love, so he asked for it.


That's really awful.

And you just accepted it?

What can you do? Love is love.

You can try to resist,
but passion wins out.

So I gave him his divorce.

On the condition that I stay on here
and make my pickles.

That was two years ago already.

I had no idea.

I'm glad you found another partner.

You mean this? It's Jun's child.

What? You divorced 2 years ago.

Sure, but that's just a piece of paper.

I love only Jun.
I want to have sex with only Jun.

So I mate with him for his child.

I want to have a family of my own.

I want to create a family
from what I truly love.

Is that bad?

If only a person's heart
could be preserved like pickles.

The other lady's gone.


So the other lady moved away?

And all that remains is this old lady.

So you live alone?

That's right. For a long time now.

Aren't you lonely?


It gets lonely sometimes.

But you take that loneliness...

and you hug it like this.

And like a block of ice,

it melts into soft water.

Trickle trickle.



But I realized living with
someone isn't such a bad thing.

I wonder if I should take in boarders.

What're you doing, Midori?

Are kids okay?

Why ask that?

I'll live here.

Sorry. The shop was busy.

No, sorry to call so abruptly.

No problem.

Pardon me.

Mr. Nagashima will be in charge of your store.

Nice to meet you. Here's my card.

How do you do? I'm Akari Honzu.

He's young but very competent.

He literally sparkles!

Pure white shirt,
beaming smile, gleaming teeth!

Like coming out of the dark into morning light.

"Free for dinner Saturday? - Nagashima"

Thank you for spending time with me.

My pleasure. It was a lovely dinner.



Can I ask you out again?

Of course!

I'm glad. Well, goodnight.

Good night.

Ouch! Oops.

You all right?

I'm fine. Thanks.


He drove me home without coming in,

holding hands or even a kiss.

Too platonic.

Are you upset?

No, it was so platonic, it turned me on!

I found it very erotic in a way.

Plus he doesn't drink or smoke. I hit jackpot.

I didn't lay a hand on him.

God's truth!

"Dear Dodo, thank you for the time
we spent together."

"I treasure every moment."

"I have been transferred to
a new post in Hokkaido."

"I'm crushed that we shall now be far apart."

"But I promise to call when next in Tokyo,
if you wish me to."

"Love, Tanabe."

Rolled omelet...

in dashi broth.


Seasoned greens.


Its good.


Akari? It's Yuta Nagashima.


What're you doing?

Talking to you.

Would it be okay if I came to see you?

Sorry old friend.
I'm feeding him solid meat tonight.

Tonight will be different.

Not the cheap, quick
and simple minced meat woman.

I'm going to be like a juicy steak.

Oh, Akari!



Beautiful mochi.

Yeah, and very old.

My only surviving family member.

He'll surely outlast me.

As a girl, I dreamed of living in a place
with big trees.

I'm happy to oblige.

I was so surprised.

I'd never seen my daughter insist on something
so strongly before.


I'll live here!

We threw out a mountain of things to move here.

It took guts to toss out some of it.

But afterwards, it felt like a big cloud had lifted.

"Do it! Bite the bullet!"

Sometimes a little courage
can give you strength to do anything.

You're so right.

I know you're down there. I believe in you.

Sorry, we're not open yet.

When did you move?


I'd be willing to come back home...
if you want me to.

What? Are you saying you can cook?

I didn't know the meaning...

of the word "delicious."

I'm sure

I had no sense of what my body
and mind wanted, either.

When you're ready to face me squarely
as I am now...

come again.

"Restaurant reserved tonight"


You're early, Tamiko!

I came straight from work.

Is this your new beau?

No way!

Shiraishi is my drinking pal,

and he's half woman so I thought he'd be okay.


Half woman? What a luxury.


We love newbies!



Good evening.

There it is! Her special meat-and-potatoes!


It truly is.



Smells heavenly.

I buy quality tenderloin brisket
and slice it myself.

A whole brisket?

Then I sauté hefty chunks of
potato, carrot and onion.

And boil it all down...

in a kelp and bonito broth.

Kelp and bonito, check.

But here's the rub.

I then sauté glass noodles in the meat broth.

In a separate pan?

Yes, by so doing...

It absorbs umami without getting too watery.

Thank you. I'll give it a try.

What about the ingredient portions?

Work that out yourself.

You're right. Sorry.

You cook from the heart, right?

Ah, he gets it.

I've got cute teachers.

Nice work.

I'm so happy.

How is it?


It's really good.

That'll be Machi's first dish we offer.


It's truly good.

Thank you.

Hmm, this still isn't quite this shop's level.

You can make it even tastier, Machi.
I believe in you.

I will. I promise.

Meat and potatoes.

Will he like it?

Is he really a school teacher?

Not just a grade school teacher...

but runs a household after his mom died,
is the breadwinner...

and a pure-hearted guy in love
with a handsome bartender.


Like I said, a luxury.

How heroic.


You must drink tonight!

Drink! Drink!

Stop it, Dodo. What gives with your boyfriend?

Time to confess.

I knew it. What's he like?

We split up already.

If you can even call it that.

It's not like we were dating, either.

Sounds complicated.

Me, too!


I'm leaving my lukewarm boyfriend.

I mean, I'm feeling that decision coming right now.

I need a real romance.

I want to feel...

true love.

There it is.

I don't know.

It's okay. You don't have to know.

It's all right.

It's all right.

Yeah. It's all right.

Well, I've had nothing lately.

Advice for me?

Nope. Can't help with your sex life.

How's life with your new tenants?

Suddenly, there are two children about.

I feel like a grandma.

Stop it. At least say you're feeling like a morn.

But I'm tempted to give them sweets
behind their mom's back.

Deep-fried sugar bread.

Steamed pudding and grilled apples.

Rice-flour dumplings in summer.

No bean jam,
but lightly sprinkled with sugar.

All your personal favorites.

You got me.

Now that's the kind of happiness money cannot buy.

It sends me back.

I feel like meeting them now.

Me, too!

Me, too.


Why don't we?


Let's do it.

Wanna meet my grandkids?


Anyone here?


everyone go?

You're awake.

You are?

Pardon me. I'm Tanabe.

I heard Dodo would be here.

She was, but it seems I've been abandoned.

I got a hold of some fresh flathead.

Share it with me?

That's really good.

I'm so glad.

Machi! Come back!

I'm so sorry.



- Evening.
- Evening.


We're never the same people we were yesterday.

Just as the earth keeps turning without rest...

we keep inching forward little by little.

Life is full of surprises.

The future is unknowable.

But we don't need to know.
Because even if we don't...

we just need to be ourselves,
and that's all that's required.

Whether in sickness or in health...
in times of joy or sadness...

I hope you won't forget the importance of eating well.

Of nourishing mind and body.

So you'll be hale and hearty
when that special person comes.

"The End."

It is done.