By Merle Bertrand | February 19, 2000

Roses are like cheese. Just as adding cheese pretty much makes anything taste better, you can plant a rose just about anywhere and make that place look better. The lonely man (Kelichi Kondoh) in Kimi Takesue’s lushly photographed “Rosewater” is putting that theory to the test. Not satisfied to just enjoy the solitary rose he’s transplanted in his apartment, he transplants the pretty flower again. This time, he brings it outside in a quixotic attempt to brighten up his sterile urban environment and battles to keep this oasis of beauty alive in the hostile concrete and steel surroundings. Not much else happens in “Rosewater,” which calls to mind that old saying about watching grass grow. Still, that very serene and calming inactivity somehow seems to work in this gentle film’s favor.

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