Café Lumiere (2004)
Critic Reviews for Café Lumiere
Both Hou and Ozu excel in evoking the poetry of everyday life, and, as a tribute from one great filmmaker to another, Cafe Lumiere should richly satisfy devotees of both artists.
Hou fans will find what they're looking for; others will wonder when the action starts.
Although pegged as an author of contemplative mood pieces, Hou's originality as a filmmaker has much to do with both his handling of historical material and his daringly counterintuitive narrative structures.
A fascinating curiosity, a chance to witness one major filmmaker paying tribute to another in the form of a rigorously minor film.
Audience Reviews for Café Lumiere
Hou's moody tribute to Ozu is more revealing and significant from what is left unsaid as it shows a woman in transit (she spends a good part of the film on moving trains) who never discusses her pregnancy with her traditional parents. Still, it left me a bit too cold to care.
Japanese drama, though drama is the wrong word for such a lackadaisical plot. Plot is the wrong word too. Way too subtle for me.
In "Cafe Lumiere," Yoko(Yo Hitito) spends much of her time between Taiwan where she is researching a famous composer and Tokyo where she hangs out with Hajime(Tadanobu Asano) who sells books and records the sounds of trains. Her carefree life comes to an end when she finds out she is pregnant by her Taiwan boyfriend. And that's pretty much it for any kind of story as director Hou Hsiao-hsien turns Tokyo into one giant model train set. As the trains go in circles, so does the plot. He does this in order to comment on the rootlessness of youth, as none of the characters can stay in any one place for long. And not that it matters any, but this is the second time in a week that I have seen a movie dedicated to Yasujiro Ozu that concentrates on train travel which is odd considering Ozu was the master of the domestic drama.
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