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The Sea Is Watching (2003)

tomatometer

54

Average Rating: 5.9/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 6

No consensus yet.

audience

71

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 1,308

My Rating

Movie Info

Kei Kumai's Umi Wa Miteita (The Sea Watches) has a script written by the late Japanese master Akira Kurosawa. O-Shin (Nagiko Tohno) is a geisha. One day a samurai named Fusanosuke (Hidetaka Yoshioka) appears in her town on the run after having killed a man. She assists him by cutting his hair. The two fall in love, despite the protestations from O-Shin's friend Kikuno (Misa Shimizu). Eventually Fusanosuke leaves, only to return one day and reveal that he is engaged. The second half of the film

R,

Drama, Romance, Art House & International

Akira Kurosawa

Nov 18, 2003

Sony Pictures Entertainment

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All Critics (28) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (11) | DVD (4)

It has been directed by Kei Kumai as a film that seems more melodramatic and sentimental than Kurosawa's norm.

October 24, 2003
Chicago Sun-Times
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Filled with love and melancholy, it's a fitting, fond epilogue to [Kurosawa].

October 23, 2003 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb by saying the Sea that Kurosawa must have envisioned had to be a whole lot more compelling and focused than the one now delivered by veteran director Kei Kumai.

July 25, 2003
San Jose Mercury News
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An undistinguished affair.

July 22, 2003
Hollywood Reporter
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It is a little like following a Jane Austen novel.

July 22, 2003 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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[T]here were times when The Sea is Watching bored me. But Kumai and Kurosawa won me back with the final scenes, which are stark and beautiful, and a fitting finale for one of the world's great filmmakers.

July 22, 2003
Seattle Times
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sad and compelling, yet laced with an underlying message of dignity and hope. Perhaps Kumai is no Kurosawa - but I don't know if Kurosawa could have done it much better.

June 7, 2004 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

It's not only worth seeing as "Kurosawa's last story," but also simply as a good, solid drama.

November 19, 2003 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

While this material isn't necessarily up to the standards of Kurosawa's best work, it does warrant at least a look.

October 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

You could literally hang any random frame on the wall and call it art.

July 27, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Those who delight in small-scale virtues may find their interest held by the meticulous detail that Kumai lavishes on various Japanese rituals -- everything from pouring tea to holding swords. Everyone else, however, need not check in.

July 22, 2003 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

[A]delightful and surprisingly feminist film.

July 22, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

An absorbing slice of a lost world that's actually very reminiscent of Kurosawa's underappreciated 1957 film, The Lower Depths.

July 22, 2003 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Though formally beautiful, Sea Is Watching is remarkably trite in comparison to the great Japanese films on the subject.

July 22, 2003 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

Technically, it's an impossible film to fault--performances, cinematography and art direction are all first-rate, coalescing in a finale that is impressively deft. If only Kurosawa had lived long enough for a rewrite.

July 22, 2003 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for The Sea Is Watching

Long and boring..
September 30, 2010
Saxia

Super Reviewer

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