Perfect Days movie still
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123 min.
Release Date
Perfect Days poster

Delicate and meditative, Wim Wenders’ Perfect Days adopts a wabi-sabi outlook that welcomes the cycles of life and finds beauty in imperfect situations. Koji Yakusho gives a marvelous performance as Hirayama, a middle-aged man who works for The Tokyo Toilet, a high-end restroom service in Japan’s capital city. Immersed in Hirayama’s routines and the deviations that upset them, the film observes him waking up each morning to the sound of a neighbor sweeping the street. Hirayama brushes his teeth, waters his plants, readies his blue jumpsuit, looks up at the sky with a smile, and then, on his drive to work, he listens to The Velvet Underground, Patti Smith, The Kinks, or Nina Simone on cassette (the soundtrack is uniformly excellent). Between scrubbing toilets and wiping down surfaces, he stops for lunch in a park and, using a 90s-era camera, takes photos of the sun peering through trees, which casts hypnotic shadows. After work, he visits a public bathhouse and gets a bite to eat. Then, it’s home to read a few more pages of his latest book before bed. And that’s about it. But in true Wenders form, by the end, after having been with Hirayama for several days, we feel like we’ve taken a long journey and come out wiser for the experience.

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