Okaasan (Mother) (1952)
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Critic Reviews for Okaasan (Mother)
Audience Reviews for Okaasan (Mother)
This is very much like Meshi, Naruse's film from the previous year. Sunny in tone, while being extremely depressing in content, about a family that struggles with death and financial hardship. Again, characters are constantly discussing money, without overtly mentioning the toll it's taking on their lives. The mother is played by Kinuyo Tanaka, a central figure in so many key Mizoguchi films. Also appearing is the loveable Daisuke Kato, recognizable from Seven Samurai, and other Kurosawa films. The real star is Kyoko Kagawa, another Kurosawa and Mizoguchi regular, who plays the teenage daughter and serves as the film's voice. She has a heartbreaking demeanor to her, as she quietly (and not so quietly) witnesses the family's setbacks. This is a very touching film, again reminiscent of a mix between Ozu and Mizoguchi. It strikes an odd feeling at times, but a compelling one.
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