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The Taste of Tea (2-Disc Limited Edition)


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1 new from CDN$ 49.96


Product Details

  • Actors: Maya Banno, Takahiro Sat, Tadanobu Asano, Satomi Tezuka, Tatsuya Gashin
  • Directors: Katsuhito Ishii
  • Writers: Katsuhito Ishii
  • Format: Dolby, Limited Edition, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: VIZ Pictures
  • Release Date: July 1 2007
  • Run Time: 237 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B000PMGNMC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #62,158 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: DVD
I must say that after finishing this movie earlier today it immediately climbed my unofficial, unmade list of favorite movies ever to one of the top rankings. I went in with zero expectation, how I think all movies should be viewed but of course that is not realistic, and was absorbed and delighted by it the entire time.
I feel not the need to tell you about the plot because if you're interested in the movie you've probably already read up on it, but just know that each actor plays their part brilliantly and with charm (with special props to Tatsuya Gashuin and Maya Banno who played the grandfather and daughter, respectively). I've heard some plot complaints coming from other reviewers and while the movie is a tad waiver-y the subplots and personal missions of each of the five family members are enthralling and not only tie together in the end but left me feeling enlightened. At the risk of being dramatic, I even found the movie inspiring.

The setting of the movie is absolutely beautiful; in a quaint, rural community all of the cinematography is admirable and adds to the rustic simplicity which the movie contains. Many scenes reminded me of the animated movie "My Neighbour Totoro" and being a fan of that movie made "The Taste of Tea" feel even more special.

The film has a definite originality to it and I doubt there is anything else quite like it around. Each character is quirky but none to the point of irritability or where they feel like caricatures. I was in fact charmed with the entire family.

The movie has a few sad moments but overall is not to be taken seriously. There are many funny scenes, one in which I actually burst out laughing, and the actions and mannerisms of the family members kept the movie consistently fresh.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 32 reviews
53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Amazing and delightful -- a touching and lovely film from Japan Aug. 9 2007
By Nate - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The Harunos are not your typical family. The father is a hypnotist, whose method is to enable people to dream alternate worlds; the mother aspires to draw anime; the grandfather is also an artist, who takes great delight in his unconventional ways; the daughter is troubled by a giant version of herself who follows her around and stares unhappily at what she does; the son, perhaps the most ordinary, is a shy but intelligent boy who has fallen in love. The film is gorgeous, full of visual surprises and laugh out loud moments. I had no idea what a nice surprise was waiting for me when I rented this on a whim; I will definitely buy this dvd since it is one that could definitely live up to repeat viewings and I can't wait to introduce it to other friends and lovers of cinema. I can't believe I'd never heard of this beautiful and charming film about family and love and obsession and work and friendship and above all, imagination. It may seem slow, since its aim is not so much to move through the paces of a story as to capture a set of lives whose worries and obsessions are vividly brought to life in their imaginations, but it is never boring. A delightful surprise, that brings the visual wonder of the best Japanese animation to the live action story of an eccentric but appealing family. Definitely one to see for anyone who like to be surprised when they watch movies.
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
a well made cup of tea Dec 17 2007
By hot4hypatia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this movie on a whim and I was very pleasantly surprised. The story and characters are quirky yet endearing on many levels - the grandfather in particular is priceless. It is a modern tale of an artistic family living in a suburb of Tokyo - very pastoral scenery, but very urban neuroses. It is an artistic rendering of everyday situations that make you want to laugh and cry. It is also a kaleidoscope of Yakuza thugs, hypnosis therapy, artistic integrity, letting go of a relationship, mixing music in a studio, surviving your in-laws, and more! It is all done with a light touch the neither judges nor tries to reduce to some trite formula.
If you enjoy art films and different cultures, this is a must see.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
I Love This Movie May 16 2007
By squeegee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I saw this movie in the theater in New York City. It is the best movie I have seen in a long time. I was laughing until I was crying at some points, and at other moments utterly moved by the genuine sentiment and lyricism.

What a beautiful film...
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Well... Dec 20 2007
By Morgan V. Holt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
...all I will add is that this movie begs you to watch it over and over again. It is an absolute charmer, the type of which cannot be found in (modern) American movies. Which is a terrible shame.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Movie about "Nothing"...But There's Something! June 29 2008
By Woopak - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
A movie about "Nothing"---but there is something. THE TASTE OF TEA is the handiwork of Katsushito Ishii, the director of the acclaimed cult hit "Party 7" and "Funky Forest: First Contact". Now, I'll go straight to the point, this film is about family, anime, a boy's young love, a young girl's journey through childhood, with very simple execution. If you're looking for a movie with a steadfast destination, then this movie may not be for you or if you want to use puns, not your cup of tea. However, this film is a grand display of Ishii's directorial skills, the man just knows how to tell a story and gets everything right.

A summer in the lives of the quirky Haruno clan, who passes the unhurried days trying to realize their ambitions. In a small town just North of Tokyo, a dedicated mother (Satomi Tezuka) attempts to revive her anime career with the aid of Grandpa who assumes the poses, her hypno-therapist hubby (Tomokazu Miura) has no choice but to back her decision and supports the family financially. Meanwhile, their eldest son (Takahiro Sato) feels the allure of teenage love and their 6 yr.-old daughter (Maya Banno) grapples with a pesky, gigantic doppelganger. Brother Asano (Tadanobu Asano) wants to be a successful sound mixer.

Remember the show "Seinfeld" that pronounces itself as a show about "nothing", well, Ishii has taken that phrase to the next level. The film's beauty is the manner on which it is structured with body languages, facial expressions and mumblings as its main vehicle in expressing its ideas. While its main premise is simple, it has the uncanny ability to say a lot without even saying a word. From the young girl who plays peek-a-boo with Grandpa, to the times when the teenager plays "Go" with his father and Uncle while the mother discusses posture and cool stances for her anime feature. A lot of it are "little things", sequences of everyday family matters but the film expresses a lot through its whimsical and episodic style. The word "Mosaic" is truly fitting for this film, since it is truly composed of diverse elements and formulas.

There's a Yakuza ghost with feces on his head whose tale is told by the boy's uncle, the giant egg, the goal of the "perfect" back flip, all these factors contribute to the family's amazing chemistry through interaction. The characters are so interesting and their characteristics mesh so well that if you take away one, the other characters would have to react differently. This is truly a great sign of excellent storytelling, when the characters take a life of their own and the plot (or lack of) can really breath. The family has become one breathing entity because of its direction.

The film is not a drama; nothing really major happens but it promotes an emotional reaction. It is not a comedy, yet, I found myself laughing quite a lot from its sequences. The film is not really telling a tale but it is more about memoirs, reflections and the clan's everyday routine. It's a bit long at 2 hours and 17 minutes, but with its eccentric characters and meandering storyline, the film will envelope you with its charm and its bright whimsical humor will undoubtedly put a smile on your face and will keep you locked in for its entirety. Even with its slower-paced moments, Ishii will draw you in with its warmth and joyful emulation will never bore you.

"The Taste of Tea" is rightfully named. Sometimes bizarre and odd, whimsical and episodic, with subtleties about life's meaning. To some Tea tastes flat and just tastes like flavored water, to some its variety of flavors add a lot of satisfaction to our taste buds. Tea can also be sometimes sweet and at the same time bitter. The film's execution has plenty of capacity for humor, and its humor is universal and won't get lost in its translation. "The Taste of Tea" is about Life's fulfillment, that lies in the pursuit of individual goals and these goals need not be huge or life-changing to provide a feeling of joy. Happiness is in the little things and appreciation for things we usually ignore is what true fulfillment is really about.

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