Millennium Actress (Sennen joyû) Reviews

  • May 02, 2020

    This is literally my favorite movie, had me in tears the first time I saw it and it still gets me emotional. The story is about the life and career of Chiyoko Fujiwara, a fictional Japanese actress who is being interviewed by Genya Tachibana and his filming assistant. Genya, a deep admirer of hers, returns a key that she had lost long ago, something that she held close at all times. Seeing the key, she tells Genya what it's for and recalls her incredible life's story and the key to it all. The movie then begins as Genya and his assistant are thrust into every flashback of her life, filming and watching as everything unfolds. As her real life events and the films she starred in unfold before us, events begin to blur together in what can only be described as the interwoven threads of love, time, reincarnation and fate weave together to form a tapestry that is Chiyoko's story and how they are all tied together. The new Blu-ray version that came out in 2019 was done by a different company than the original 2001 release and is NOT recommended. The translation is poorly done and the subtitles are rife with SERIOUS grammar and spelling errors. I mean it is REALLY BAD! Look for the original DVD 2001 release, it's by far the superior version.

    This is literally my favorite movie, had me in tears the first time I saw it and it still gets me emotional. The story is about the life and career of Chiyoko Fujiwara, a fictional Japanese actress who is being interviewed by Genya Tachibana and his filming assistant. Genya, a deep admirer of hers, returns a key that she had lost long ago, something that she held close at all times. Seeing the key, she tells Genya what it's for and recalls her incredible life's story and the key to it all. The movie then begins as Genya and his assistant are thrust into every flashback of her life, filming and watching as everything unfolds. As her real life events and the films she starred in unfold before us, events begin to blur together in what can only be described as the interwoven threads of love, time, reincarnation and fate weave together to form a tapestry that is Chiyoko's story and how they are all tied together. The new Blu-ray version that came out in 2019 was done by a different company than the original 2001 release and is NOT recommended. The translation is poorly done and the subtitles are rife with SERIOUS grammar and spelling errors. I mean it is REALLY BAD! Look for the original DVD 2001 release, it's by far the superior version.

  • Nov 22, 2019

    Satoshi Kon's directorial follow-up to Perfect Blue is a somewhat lighter, less enveloping picture. We tail a pair of DIY documentarians, enamored with their subject, as they suss out the location of a reclusive former starlet and entice her to share her life's story. Truth and fiction intertwine in the telling of that particular saga, with personal memoirs stirred into various scenes from her best-loved screen performances. The result is a flighty, dreamlike atmosphere, a general easing in and out of the present that doesn't always follow a linear train of thought. It operates with a soft touch, which matches the understated nature of our aging narrator; smoothly straddling genres and decades en route to a destined meeting with a lost love. That puts it on common thematic ground with both Perfect Blue and Paprika (Kon's 2006 swan song), which both toyed with perception and the meeting ground between internal and external realities. Millennium Actress, though, approaches the subject with reduced color and vigor, leaving less dangling threads to captivate audiences and fewer cornerstone visual showpieces to linger in their memories.

    Satoshi Kon's directorial follow-up to Perfect Blue is a somewhat lighter, less enveloping picture. We tail a pair of DIY documentarians, enamored with their subject, as they suss out the location of a reclusive former starlet and entice her to share her life's story. Truth and fiction intertwine in the telling of that particular saga, with personal memoirs stirred into various scenes from her best-loved screen performances. The result is a flighty, dreamlike atmosphere, a general easing in and out of the present that doesn't always follow a linear train of thought. It operates with a soft touch, which matches the understated nature of our aging narrator; smoothly straddling genres and decades en route to a destined meeting with a lost love. That puts it on common thematic ground with both Perfect Blue and Paprika (Kon's 2006 swan song), which both toyed with perception and the meeting ground between internal and external realities. Millennium Actress, though, approaches the subject with reduced color and vigor, leaving less dangling threads to captivate audiences and fewer cornerstone visual showpieces to linger in their memories.

  • K. Viernes
    Aug 22, 2019

    Loved it, it was trippy in a good way even though it was extremely sad.

    Loved it, it was trippy in a good way even though it was extremely sad.

  • Scott
    Aug 21, 2019

    Absolutely amazing animation and story telling.

    Absolutely amazing animation and story telling.

  • Rubolly
    Aug 21, 2019

    Gorgeous to look at, and a good story. Perfect camerawork and editing combined with beautiful images. The story is predictable, but the way it is told is so creative that you almost need the predictability in order to keep up. Superb film.

    Gorgeous to look at, and a good story. Perfect camerawork and editing combined with beautiful images. The story is predictable, but the way it is told is so creative that you almost need the predictability in order to keep up. Superb film.

  • Roderick W
    Aug 21, 2019

    This movie blew away all of my expectations for this film. I have never seen anything like it in anime. The way the movie was filmed is crazy, and the animation is a classic well-drawn animation. I decided to see the dub since it was a brand new dubbing. The dubbing was really good too. I loved the story very fresh and different for anime. Even some of the questions I had were answered during the extra scenes with the co-writer and producer of the film. This is an instant classic and one to own to share.

    This movie blew away all of my expectations for this film. I have never seen anything like it in anime. The way the movie was filmed is crazy, and the animation is a classic well-drawn animation. I decided to see the dub since it was a brand new dubbing. The dubbing was really good too. I loved the story very fresh and different for anime. Even some of the questions I had were answered during the extra scenes with the co-writer and producer of the film. This is an instant classic and one to own to share.

  • David H
    Aug 21, 2019

    Creative and emotionally evocative film. Well worth your time.

    Creative and emotionally evocative film. Well worth your time.

  • JimiandTina
    Aug 20, 2019

    Loved how Fathom Events showed this masterpiece- but not a huge blockbuster. Keep bringing more obscure films like this!

    Loved how Fathom Events showed this masterpiece- but not a huge blockbuster. Keep bringing more obscure films like this!

  • SemiCritic432
    Aug 20, 2019

    Second Satoshi Kon film seen, did not appeal to me, interesting concept to be explored in media, with adequate execution. Just enjoy the film for what it is, there not much to unbox.

    Second Satoshi Kon film seen, did not appeal to me, interesting concept to be explored in media, with adequate execution. Just enjoy the film for what it is, there not much to unbox.

  • P.V.S
    Aug 20, 2019

    I loved how the film used Chiyoko's roles as an actress to tell the story! The painter being viewed as the metaphor for her drive to be an actress was well done. I think this film needs to be viewed with a careful eye to notice which is reality and which is fiction (the movies Chiyoko was in)...then again, Satoshi Kon did like to make reality and fiction ambiguous.

    I loved how the film used Chiyoko's roles as an actress to tell the story! The painter being viewed as the metaphor for her drive to be an actress was well done. I think this film needs to be viewed with a careful eye to notice which is reality and which is fiction (the movies Chiyoko was in)...then again, Satoshi Kon did like to make reality and fiction ambiguous.