I saw Departures last month and I really enjoyed it. For those of you not familiar with the movie, it is a Japanese film that won the Foreign Film Oscar this year. It’s about a young man who is laid off from his job at the symphony. He returns to his hometown only to find a job casketing and performing funeral rites for the deceased.

Although there are many scenes that I enjoyed, the one scene that stays with me is the one where the funeral director (Shoei)*, the office manager (Yuriko) and the main character (Daigo) eat fried chicken together on Christmas Eve. The scene made me hungry for a drumstick of fried chicken, but it was also a visceral way of showing how alive these characters are. I especially loved their refrain “It’s so good, I hate myself.” The mark of well prepared food, and living life to the fullest. I loved how this quick scene illustrates the little pleasures of life, good food, good company, and celebration of life.

* The actor that plays Shoei is none other than Goro from Tampopo, another classic food movie.

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