Kirschblüten - Hanami (Cherry Blossoms) (2008)
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Critic Reviews for Kirschblüten - Hanami (Cherry Blossoms)
This may lack the understated pathos of Ozu's somber masterpiece, but it's still a moving meditation on aging and loss, and Wepper and Elsner are unforgettable.
A uniquely poignant meditation on mortality.
The movie is an ideal blend of character study, deceptively simple plot twists, inspired acting, and travelogue.
It's a gentle lesson in facing life's hardships with acceptance rather than grief.
A quiet, moving tale of love and loss.
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.
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.
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.
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