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Sunday, December 11, 2022
A sui generis film about mourning and starting anew, Kitchen finds Morita adapting the debut novel by Banana Yoshimoto with a spellbinding balance of despair and joy. Orphan Mikage (Ayako Kawahara) has been raised by her grandmother since childhood. When her grandmother passes away, a now-adult Mikage looks to the kitchen as a means of coping and finds herself striking up a friendship with a friend of her grandmother’s and his trans mother. Soon after she moves in with them and gains access to their swanky, tricked-out kitchen. A work suffused with tranquility and a lingering sense of the uncanny, Kitchen is one of Morita’s most curious and mesmerizing films.