Japan’s Oscar® submission for Best International Feature

Kōji Yakusho won the Best Actor award at this year’s Cannes film festival for his portrayal of Hirayama, a public toilet cleaner in Tokyo who performs his job like a dedicated master craftsman, in Wim Wenders’ sweetly meditative drama PERFECT DAYS. Rising early each day, Hirayama executes his duties with exquisite professionalism and pride in a job well done, despite the less committed effort of colleagues like his trainee, Takashi (Tokio Emoto). With the workday done, Hirayama begins his equally regimented leisure routine: pop a favorite cassette into his van’s tape deck (his taste includes songs by Otis Redding, Nina Simone, The Kinks, the Velvet Underground, Patti Smith and – naturally – Lou Reed’s 1972 classic “Perfect Day”), visit a favorite eatery for dinner, and enjoy reading a novel before bedtime. Hirayama may seem like a model of work-life balance, and his apparent anti-materialism commendable, but a visit from his niece and later his estranged sister suggests a pain from his past he may be working hard to contain. Yakusho gives a quietly commanding performance. Best known for his many collaborations with Kiyoshi Kurosawa, from 1997’s CURE to 2008’s TOKYO SONATA, as well as Juzo Itami’s TAMPOPO, the beloved ballroom dancing romance SHALL WE DANCE? and Shohei Imamura’s Palme d’Or-winning THE EEL, the actor here adds another masterfully played role to his stellar body of work. –Todd Hitchcock

Wim Wenders is a prize-winning director, producer, photographer and screenwriter. He came to prominence as one of the pioneers of German Cinema and is now considered to be one of the most important figures in contemporary film.


Country: Japan

Year: 2023

Director: Wim Wenders

Screenwriters: Wim Wenders, Takuma Takasaki

Producers: Koji Yanai, Wim Wenders, Takuma Takasaki

Executive Producer: Kôji Yakusho

Director of Photography: Franz Lustig

Editor: Toni Froschhammer

Production Designer: Towako Kuwajima

Music: Patrick Watson

Cast/Featuring: Kôji Yakusho, Min Tanaka, Tokio Emoto, Aoi Yamada, Sayuri Ishikawa

Running Time (minutes): 123

Language: Japanese