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Kirschblüten - Hanami (Cherry Blossoms) (2008)



Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 53
Fresh: 44 | Rotten: 9

This mature and eloquent meditation on grief and loss sports measured performances and moments of humor.


Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 19
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 3

This mature and eloquent meditation on grief and loss sports measured performances and moments of humor.



liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 4,439

My Rating

Movie Info

An elderly husband suffering from a terminal illness begins to appreciate his wife on a whole new level after she dies suddenly during a trip to see their children and grandchildren in Berlin. Rudi is not long for this world, but only his doctor and his wife, Trudi, know how serious his condition has truly become. As Trudi wrestles with whether or not to break the news to her ailing husband, the doctor recommends to her that the couple perhaps do something that they have been planning for years


Drama, Romance, Art House & International

Doris Dörrie

Apr 16, 2009


Strand Releasing

Watch It Now



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All Critics (54) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (9) | DVD (3)

A uniquely poignant meditation on mortality.

April 2, 2009 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is an ideal blend of character study, deceptively simple plot twists, inspired acting, and travelogue.

March 20, 2009 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a gentle lesson in facing life's hardships with acceptance rather than grief.

March 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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A quiet, moving tale of love and loss.

March 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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If you have ever seen Yasujiro Ozu's masterpiece Tokyo Story -- one of the greatest films ever made -- you may respond to Doris Dörrie's Cherry Blossoms, which is a kind of homage.

March 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A most beautiful film.

February 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A bare reading of the plot doesn't actually do justice to the subtle beauty of this exquisite little film.

April 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The example set by Ozu's best works goes unheeded as the film becomes too cutesy and forced to be moving.

April 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

It's a quiet, very beautiful film about the duality of love and death.

April 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Cherry Blossoms is not a complete train wreck, although at 127 minutes it's way too long for the ground that it covers.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Playback:stl

A lyrical attempt to make sense of grief that appeals shamelessly to the heart rather than the head.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4

Ozu's handling of the frosty schism between awkward parents and their ghastly offspring resulted in a heartbreaking piece of cinema.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

This is a sweet-natured piece, and though the final section in Tokyo itself is sentimental and over-extended, there are poignant, mordant insights.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Guardian

This bouquet of nicely observed private moments packs an unexpectedly profound emotional punch.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

An affectionate, gentle film, if marred by sentimentality.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Unpredictable and compelling, this draws parallels between Japanese and German cultures in interesting and moving ways.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

If she doesn't quite go the distance - resonance needs richer characterisation, origami finer scissors - Cherry Blossoms is still a touching, tangibly personal chamber movie.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Sometimes a quiet whisper is more compelling than the loudest shout. Cherry Blossoms is a gentle, maudlin tale of love, loss, family ties and the fleeting nature of life.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

The bluntness of the script doesn't attain the ethereal quality it's striving for (Japanese cinema favours inscrutability, a cultural lesson that seems to have been lost in translation here), but it's still oddly absorbing.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Scotsman

[A] tender, unhurried drama about dependence, impermanence and rebirth.

March 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Cherry Blossoms is an exquisitely and delicately crafted film about love, loss, and a kind of spiritual healing.

March 17, 2009 Full Review Source:

As Cherry Blossoms (Kirschblüten - Hanami) begins, Trudi is surprised when she learns her husband is dying of an unnamed condition.

March 8, 2009 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Audience Reviews for Kirschblüten - Hanami (Cherry Blossoms)

I thought I already reviewed this one!

The acting style was something that I had to get into, but when the true drama sets in halfway, I couldn't stop crying (yeah I know, I'm a big woos). Which for me, is always a good indicator for a high rating (Really? Really!).

Somehow the movie The Lovely Bones touched me in a way this movie did as well.
January 31, 2011

Super Reviewer

The first half of Cherry Blossom is a wonderfully realised German tribute to Tokyo Story. An elderly couple go to visit their children only to find that they do not have time for them. The twist here is that the wife knows that the husband is dying but he does not. This adds a forever lingering atmosphere of tragedy, but is far from predictable. The second half of the film moves to Japan and explores it's own territory. Here we are treated to tender and saddening moments that many people will be able to relate to. The Japanese landscapes are captured in a way that fully expresses the wonder felt by the protagonists. Some of the child/parent conflict is a bit blatant and some of the culture cross is uninspired. Another film where a westerner thinks somebody introducing them self as Yu, is saying "you"? Really? Luckily the wonderful and meditative feel that radiates off the film, cover those small blemishes.
July 28, 2009

Super Reviewer

In "Cherry Blossoms," Trudi(Hannelore Elsner), knowing her husband Rudi(Elmar Wepper), a mid-level bureaucrat, is dying, wants to finally travel with him to Japan to visit their son Karl(Maximilian Bruckner), see Mount Fuji and watch a performance of Butoh which she loves. But he decides against it, feeling they have some perfectly fine mountains in Germany, thank you very much. Instead, they travel to Berlin to visit family who feel they are being inconvenienced by their visit. So, the couple moves on to the Baltic Sea.

While owing a huge debt to Ozu's magnificent "Tokyo Story" in its depiction of the marginalization of senior citizens, "Cherry Blossoms" is still an amiable and bittersweet meditation on mortality. The movie contains a twist that turns everything on its head and reinforces the notion that we can never take anything for granted.(Strange as it may seem, this reminds me of a line from the voiceover from "Kick-Ass.") Rudi goes through the motions of his clockwork life, thinking that it will always be the same at least until he retires the following year, displaying his lack of imagination. It is Trudi who hears the clock ticking with time running out with the man she has lived with for decades and always thought she would spend the rest of her life with.
April 29, 2010
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

I saw this one as well at the Cleveland International Film Fest. I didn't like this one quite as much as my wife did, but it was a good solid drama. The elderly man's wife has always wanted to see Japan, Mount Fuji, and a particular kind of traditional dance that inspires her. The man has his routine and doesn't like to travel much. The man and woman have three children who have all moved far away and find their parents difficult. The wife convinces her husband to visit their two children who live closest because she knows he is near death, then while visiting the beach where they honeymooned she tragically dies first. The man eventually decides to go to Japan, where their other son happens to work, to reconnect with his wife. It's humorous when he takes to cross-dressing in his wife's clothes to be closer to her. He has a unique way of looking at death and the afterlife that I was not familiar with. He befriends a young homeless woman who practices the kind of dance his wife enjoyed in the park for change. Together they go to see Mount Fuji, which turns out to be more difficult than expected. It is an amazing scene when the man is finally able to view Mount Fuji and he reconnects with his wife through dance in the most beautiful and passionate and heart-rending moment.
April 8, 2009

Super Reviewer

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