Film Review “Every day a good day”

This time, I would like to do a film review on Every day a good day by Ōmori Tatsushi (大森立嗣), based on a book by Morishita Noriko (森下典子), since it is a movie on tea and I would highly recommend watching it.

Every day a good day
Every day a good day (Illustration by the author) Noriko and Michiko looking at the scroll that says “Every day a good day”

There is a buddhist phrase that says “Nichinichi kore kōjitsu (日日是好日)”, which means every day is (or should be) a good day.

When Noriko (Kuroki Hana, 黒木華) was ten years old, she couldn’t understand what was so great about the Italian melodrama La Strada. As she grows older, now being an university student, she and her cousin, Michiko (Tabe Mikako, 多部未華子) start visiting tea lessons after her mother suggested her to do so. In the beginning, the girls think of the world of tea as something strange and funny, and Noriko wants to explore the logic reasons behind every action, until the teacher, Miss Takeda (Kiki Kirin, 樹木希林) is lost for words.

Life goes on with its ups and downs, but one thing doesn’t change: the tea lessons on Saturday. When Michiko gets married, Noriko continues to visit the classes by herself. Students come and go, but Noriko stays. As years pass by, she starts to understand and to appreciate the little things in tea and in life. And of course, by time, she will experience a change concerning her childhood memory as well.

If you are looking for a classic storyline with highlights, drama, a climax and a happy end, I have to disappoint you. “Every day a good day” is a slow movie with its little moments that touch the heart, some of which would make you cry and some make you smile, but they always stay close to real life.

Watching the movie, I had several moments that reminded me of the wonderful time that I had at my University tea club, like the first mistakes the two girls did or how they tried to read the calligraphy on the scroll. The warmth of the teacher and the kindness and seemingly endless patience in her teachings reminded me of our teacher, who always stayed calm, no matter how often I did the same mistakes. I think that this is one of the biggest qualities a teacher should have and Kiki, the perfect cast, has enacted her role as the tea teacher perfectly.
Some of you might know Kikis face when watching the trailer from the award-winning movie Shoplifters (Manbiki Kazoku,『万引き家族』). Unfortunately, the much loved actress passed away last year, leaving Every day a good day her last movie.

The official trailer on YouTube

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