|Ozu's masterful film is a must-see.|
Directed by Yasujirô Ozu
Produced by Takeshi Yamamoto
Written by Kôgo Noda and Yasujirô Ozu
Starring Chishu Ryu, Chiyeko Higashiyama, So Yamamura, Setsuko Hara, Haruko Sugimura, Kyoto Kagawa and Shiro Osaka
Plot Summary: An elderly couple visit their children in Tokyo, only to find them preoccupied with their own lives.
Significance: As Ozu's most acclaimed film, it was featured very high in the latest Sight and Sound Poll (#1 in the directors poll and #3 in the critics one). However, the film wasn't lavished with many honors upon its original release, with the Sutherland Trophy from the BFI being the highest award it was given.
Thoughts: Ozu's family drama is a tour-de-force in minimalist storytelling. It's easy to see why the film is so highly regarded amongst filmmakers and critics, as it tells this simple story of family so well. The performances are very natural, and Ozu captures them without intrusive camerawork or overbearing music. Everything is just right. With a master in full control, this sublime, bittersweet story makes a wonderful film. Like last month's entry, this is my second film from this celebrated director (the first being Early Spring), and it is likely to remain my favorite film from Ozu. It's not always good to have high expectations, but in this case, you can believe the hype.