Tokyo Story (Tôkyô monogatari) (1953)
Average Rating: 9.7/10
Reviews Counted: 39
Fresh: 39 | Rotten: 0
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 10/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 0
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4.4/5
User Ratings: 10,496
As with much of director Yasujiro Ozu's work, a plot summary of this film does not do justice to the emotional power that Ozu lends to this sad, understated tale. An elderly couple, Shukichi (Chishu Ryu) and Tomi Hirayama (Chieko Higashiyama), leaves their small coastal village in southern Japan to visit their married children in Tokyo. Their eldest son, Koichi (So Yamamura), a doctor running a clinic in a working-class part of town, is too busy to show them around town, and their eldest
Nov 3, 1953 Wide
Oct 30, 2003
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Ozu's long shots, knee-high camera placement, and collapsed perspective -- as gorgeous and unsettling as a Cézanne -- gather power over the duration, but time itself is the master's most potent weapon.
This remains one of the most approachable and moving of all cinema's masterpieces.
The way Ozu builds up emotional empathy for a sense of disappointment in its various characters is where his mastery lies.
It ennobles the cinema. It says, yes, a movie can help us make small steps against our imperfections.
Luminous in its freedom from the sentimentality or the satire that so often obscure an artist's vision of normal living.
It soon becomes clear that they have planned their trip at a bad time; it is equally clear that every time is a bad time.
With its debt to Leo McCarey's 'Make Way for Tomorrow,' Yasujiro Ozu's 'Tokyo Story' is no less true, shattering, and not for viewers fretting about unsympathetic grown-up children.
In this exquisite merging of specific and universal, infinite and infinitesimal, Tokyo Story perhaps most clearly illuminates that Ozu is not the most Japanese of filmmakers, but the most human.
Ozu has made a film as simple in form and complex in nature as life itself. Here, every viewer is cast as a tourist, and yet will feel right at home.
These characters never surprise us with anything showy, lurid, or sensational. They're ordinary human beings, treated with fierce attention that feels like deep respect.
Ozu may have made subtler films, but the clarity of his social critique here is wrenching and unassailable.
Newcomers to Ozu must be prepared for a rigidly controlled work with no mobile-camera shots. This style elegantly frames the delicate performances, which in turn do justice to the wisdom and compassion of Ozu's view of life.
This 1953 classic is one of the cinema's most profound and moving studies of married love, ageing and the relations between parents and children. It is flawless and rewards numerous viewings.
A difficult film to describe without making it seem less than the masterpiece it is, 'Tokyo Story' is a remarkable work that gives a real insight into family life.
A quiet, devastating poignancy that gently envelops you en route to an absolute tear-streamer of an ending.
Yasujiro Ozu was a master film-maker who specialised in middle-class family melodramas known in Japanese as shomin-geki, and this moving story is one of his finest achievements.
Ozu only has to train his camera on a face to uncover a sense of resignation, or longing, or loneliness, and the mood, if you allow it, becomes quite overwhelming.
Ozu's style is one based on restriction, rigor, and repetition, which paradoxically expands his emotional meanings.
Audience Reviews for Tokyo Story (Tôkyô monogatari)
- Kyoko: Isn't life disappointing?
- Noriko: Yes, it is.
- Shukishi Hirayama: Perhaps we expect too much out of our children....
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