by Chris MaGee
Anyone who has followed the J-Film Pow-Wow over the past couple years will know that I'm a huge fan of actor Tatsuya Fuji. The now 68-year-old actor came to fame in such films as Yasuharu Hasebe's "Bloody Territories" and "Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter" before becoming infamous with his sexually explicit performance in Nagisa Oshima's 1976 classic "In the Realm of the Senses". Fuji never dropped his pants for a role after that, but he didn't need to. He's an actor with immense screen charisma. Of late he's been starring in more feel good fare like Mitsuhiro Mihara's culinary-themed "Flavour of Happiness" and now it looks like he's following that up with yet another crowd pleaser based in the kitchen.
Tokyograph is reporting that Fuji will be starring opposite actress Maki Sakai (above) as a sauve older man named Tony in the screen adaptation of Sawako Agawa's novel "Soup Opera" Sakai's character, Rui, is a bit of a hot house flower who has been living with her elderly aunt for years. Rui ends up getting kicked out of the nest after her aunt finds love and she's forced to move in with Tony and a shy man named Kosuke (Takahiro Nishijima). The difficult living arrangements are eased by some hot steaming bowls of soup, or so the teaser trailer at Nippon Cinema leads us to believe. Things also get smoothed over by the presence of Kimiko Yo who rounds out the cast and who seems to be making a career of starring in major studio, homey crowd-pleasers like "Departures" and "Dr. Doctor".
"Soup Opera" is due out in Japanese theatres this fall.