Sakuran (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sakuran (2006)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Sumptuous and arty Japanese geisha flick, tastefully filmed, but with irritating soundtrack. Like Marie Antoinette with Sake instead of Champagne.

Sakuran Photos

Movie Info

Mika Ninagawa's lavishly produced, broadly-scaled period epic Sakuran unfurls in 18th century Edo, the embryonic fishing village that in later years blossomed into the Japanese metropolis of Tokyo. Anna Tsuchiya stars as Kiyoha, a social-climbing courtesan who inhabits and works in a bordello of the exclusive Yoshiwara district. Exceptionally particular regarding her customers/bedmates, Kiyoha seeks liberation from the lifestyle and career that have ensconced her - but refuses to accept such emancipation at the hands of a rich man's purchase. Deliberately, yet with great assurance and conviction, Kiyoha approaches the prospect of freedom and attempts to surmount the social and cultural obstacles that stand in her way. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

Cast

Critic Reviews for Sakuran

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (1)

The characters are likeable but thin and, despite a few raw, persuasive scenes, the script feels emotionally stunted.

Full Review… | August 29, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

So full of attitude that it fairly leaps off the screen with claws bared

Full Review… | August 29, 2008
Shadows on the Wall

In short, Sakuran is an enjoyable, superbly directed and impressively acted drama that gives a delicious manga-slash-J-pop twist to the geisha story. Worth seeking out.

Full Review… | August 29, 2008
ViewLondon

If it is all a little like an arty novelette, there's no doubt it is a feast for the eye.

August 29, 2008
London Evening Standard

But Ninagawa's obsession with image-making saps the story until the movie, like its heroine, is merely handsomely mounted.

Full Review… | August 29, 2008
Total Film

Ninagawa, like Sophia Coppola in Marie Antoinette, brings to a traditional story a keen compositional flair and a love of bright colours, as well as deploying a lively, jazzy soundtrack.

Full Review… | August 29, 2008
Daily Telegraph (UK)

Audience Reviews for Sakuran

Sakuran (2006) This Japanese movie is not yet available on DVD here in the U.S. and is often compared to Memoirs of a Geisha (2005). I personally feel that Sakuran is a lot better movie. Perhaps director Mika Ninagawa's amazing visuals are due to the story being based on the Manga, versus Memoirs' being based on the novel. Also, Anna Tsuchiya's character Kiyoha, is a loud-mouthed broad that isn't afraid to tell you what she thinks of you, versus the typical female-playing-victim that we get here in American chick-flicks. Not that she doesn't get her fair share of abuse from the men she meets. She can dish it out as well as she takes it. The movie also is romantic and even a little sentimental. I didn't fully appreciate the more modern mix of music in the soundtrack. It really didn't fit the movie well and was slightly distracting. But, other than that it was an excellent movie and I highly recommend it.

Rick Rudge
Rick Rudge

Gaudy.

Lesley N
Lesley N

Super Reviewer

½

Great artisticly executed movie from Mika Ninagawa... I really enjoyed everything she did in this movie set in 18th Century Edo, Japan. “Sakuran” traces the life of Kiyoha as she ascents from the lowly courtesan ranks to the high class position of Oiran in the steamy red-light district of Yoshiwara. The oiran were women that existed during the Edo era and they lived in self-contained “Pleasure Quarters” and like geishas were required to be well-versed with the arts of dance, music, poetry and calligraphy, and conversation. However, unlike geishas, the oiran were prostitutes, although they were considered to be elite prostitutes.

Panta Oz
Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

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