Subarashiki Nichiyobi (One Wonderful Sunday) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Subarashiki Nichiyobi (One Wonderful Sunday) Reviews

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½ July 5, 2010
Two poor lovers try to spend a day together with what little money they have, desperately trying to hold out hope for their future, and for love itself, as the world throws barriers, bitterness, and cold weather their way. Has a dark undercurrent running through it, but an ultimately hopeful philosophy despite the ferocity that Kurosawa wields here.
June 26, 2010
I kept getting mad at Yuzo, which only shows that the film was doing something right, for a reaction. By the end he was much better, and I loved the shot of the swinging. A nice little story with a nice little message.
½ May 20, 2010
A tedious and hesitant film that is no doubt inspired from the neo-realism practiced at the time by Italian filmmakers Vittorio de Sica and Roberto Rossellini. Akira Kurosawaâ??s pleading piece, after the destruction of Japan left its citizens with a bleak outlook, aspires to lift up their distraught demeanors with a romantic, lighthearted comedy of sorts. It fails in successfully balancing the sometimes depressing qualities with the elated realizations that the couple, Yuzo and Masako, each experience separately but oftentimes together. By the pictureâ??s midpoint, the switches have become redundant even if their presence is meant to show the suffering world that imposes on the protagonists throughout. There is one brilliant sequence, though, when Yuzo attempts to lift Masakoâ??s spirits by acting out an orchestra in full swing as its conductor. When a breeze begins to howl and reminds him of the outside world he becomes discouraged, bringing Yuzo to the stage in an attempt to plead with the audience to encourage him into performance. The imaginary audience is those watching the film as she speaks directly into the camera in full close-up, breaking the fourth wall in a shocking, out of context manner. It is a brilliant climax that almost, entirely makes up for the inadequate parts before it.
½ April 8, 2010
Post-war Tokyo is the setting for Akira Kurosawa's touching romantic drama ONE WONDERFUL SUNDAY - offering a glimpse of a city struggling to regain a semblance of normalcy in the wake of a devastating war via the experiences of a young betrothed couple - Yuzo (Isao Numasaki) and Masako (Chieko Nakakita - she also appeared in Kurosawa's DRUNKEN ANGEL). They often spend Sunday together - the only time of the week that they can see each other. Complicating the matter is the fact they have but 35 yen to spend (after they have pooled their money together.)

Both Yuzo and Masako are struggling to make ends meet as office workers earning meager pay. Yuzo is a former soldier sharing a tiny apartment with a roommate. Masako still lives with her large family in a "tiny house". He is the more pragmatic of the two but is becoming more and more morose about his financial situation (which doesn't appear likely to improve any time soon.) He smokes cigarette butts he finds on the sidewalk because he cannot afford to buy his own. She, on the other hand, is the more cheerful and optimistic of the two - able to foresee a much brighter and happier future. Masako can even put a positive spin on it when Yuzo notices the holes on the soles of her shoes - "the better they are to drain when they get wet."

Early in the film, Masako tries to persuade Yuzo to look at a model home. He is reluctant to enter. For Yuzo, the selling price of the home (100,000 yen) is a seemingly unobtainable figure. Meanwhile, Masako imagines the types of furniture she will place in each room. Yuzo scolds her for being an unrealistic dreamer, "We have to face reality to survive in a world like this." But Masako counters, "This is the kind of world where you need dreams the most..."

They next inquire about a small apartment that is up for rent. In one of the films more humorous moments - the apartment manager all but discourages the couple from renting. As the couple try to figure out if they can afford to live there - they are distracted by some kids playing baseball, prompting Yuzo to join in on the fun.

This baseball scene is something one can very easily connect with if you are a fan of baseball. The japanese kids yell the exact same "phrases" as their american counterparts. What really surprised me was Kurosawa's choice of music here - after a wayward baseball wrecks the sign hung near a store. All the kids scatter, of course...but the music is from Bizet's "Carmen" - the very same music used by director Michael Ritchie in his 1976 BAD NEWS BEARS - one of my all time favorite baseball flicks!!!

Very memorable too is the scene where amidst the rubble and ruin, Yuzo and Masako pretend to own a cafe. There is also a playground scene - with swings - that foreshadow Kurosawa's marvelous film IKURU.

These are some of the film's happier moments...but the mood will swing the other way too as Yuzo's mood becomes grimmer as the day progresses - as the reality of Tokyo's economic straits becomes more evident to the viewer. They encounter a hungry street waif. They have a run in with some street toughs scalping concert tickets . Yuzo's plan to visit a wartime buddy who now owns a nightclub goes terribly astray when the maitre'd mistakes Yuzo for a...(sorry, this will probably be a spoiler)!!!

When the couple finally retreats to Yuzo's apartment is when Kurosawa is at his cinematic best here with long stetches without dialogue. It becomes heartbreaking to watch as when Masako - the seemingly eternal optimist - surrenders to tears.

This is considered one of Kurosawa's lesser film - but I disagree. It's billed as a neo-realist film and does remind one of the style of THE BICYCLE THIEVES or UMBERTO D - but this film predates them both. One of the characters will break the "fourth wall" and address the audience directly - which may or may not work for you - but I understand Kurosawa's intent.

I think this is one fabulous film with much food for thought!!!
March 24, 2010
A very simple and poignant drama about goals and dreams. Amongst their situation, an engaged couple tries to have a nice Sunday for only 35 yen. They go throughout the city and make the best, while learning more about themselves. A nice character study film.
½ January 24, 2010
Watching a Kurosawa film that doesn't have any Kurosawa regulars on hand was a little bizarre, but still worth to see this little known curiosity. Put Sam Mendes' "Away We Go" in postwar torn Tokyo, and I think the outcome wouldhave its similarities.

Yuzo and Masako are an engaged couple that meet up in the city for a date on Sunday. The poor couple only have 35 yen for the day, and during this time, they meet (un)usual characters of postwar Tokyo, play a little baseball with kids, look at new houses they cannot afford, get into a fight with ticket scalpers, and watch the rest of Tokyo start to rise, talk about their dreams of marriage and opening a bakery. Some scenes near the end dragged a bit, especially after the quarrel. But then again, this was before Godard invented the jump-cut time lapse, which would have really helped here. But overall, a journey well-taken, and a very good film that shows Kurosawa was up and coming.
November 28, 2009
I must have been in the right mood. Though I never seen Isao Numazaki or Cheiko Nakakira before, I found them perfectly charming in this very atypical and early Kurosawa film
October 29, 2009
L'un des premiers efforts de réalisation de Kurosawa, l'un de ses moins connus également, et certainement pas son meilleur. Ce n'est pas dénué d'intérêt (on y voit quand même le germe d'un immense talent dans la composition hyper-soignée des plans), mais ce n'est pas non plus renversant.

On pourrait dire que c'est du néoréalisme japonais. Avec une petite touche de Frank Capra. Mais bon, en ce qui me concerne je me lasse rapidement du misérabilisme dans lequel verse un peu trop ce film. On a l'impression que ça progresse beaucoup trop lentement. Mais bon, c'est vraiment pas tout mauvais, juste que comparé au reste de l'oeuvre de Kurosawa, c'est pâle un peu.
September 25, 2009
Kurosawa is best known for heavy drama and intense action, but One Wonderful Sunday shows that he can pull off charming, too. It does have a dark side, but for the most part it's very light-hearted. It gets a little too hokey at the end, and the breaking of the fourth wall, though unusual and bold, doesn't really work. The Kurosawa touch is there on a technical level, even this early in his career, with some excellent compositions and camera moves.
½ July 12, 2009
At moments, one of Kurosawa's darkest films, with several very poignant points. The one misstep was the "audience participation" bit which didn't work at all.
½ December 20, 2008
Another earlky Kurosawa edition. Interesting in that it has some experimental things such as actors asking for help from the audience, and also it's early look at sexual tension.
August 30, 2008
It seems to be the dreariest of pictures at times. It seems as if the couple has nowhere to go and no hope of getting ahead. According to Kurosawa, the war has destroyed everything good and decent in Japan and put the country and the people into a downward spiral. Even the fun with the kids playing baseball is interrupted by a truck driving through and a scrawny cow pulling a cart. The American influence is here too. Itâ??s nothing like Imamura, but itâ??s still hinted at with the Cabaret, the pin-up girls on the wall of the apartment, etc. Itâ??s interesting that some of the best post-war American films had a very similar tone. There are some beautiful scenes and of course the performances are excellent. I canâ??t recall a Kurosawa film in which they werenâ??t. The personal appeal to the camera/audience for young lovers is interesting. Kurosawa manages to pack an entire film into one day, while keeping it both action-packed and leisurely.
½ August 9, 2008
With this warm and uplifting film, the effect Kurosawa achieves is in the simplicity. The story is threadbare. Two lovebirds try to spend a Sunday together in post-war Tokyo and enjoy themselves with only 35 yen in their pockets. Kurosawa never ceases to amaze me because of his incredibly acute comprehension of the visual effects of a story. The simpler the story is, the more it becomes simply a day in their lives. The more it becomes a day in the life, the more upsetting we find the challenges facing them because of the Occupation and the crumbling economy at the time.

It's almost like a lightweight version of The Lost Weekend. There are no debilitating problems like alcoholism or writer's block. There are just obstructions and inconveniences with which the characters can either roll or stew around.

One Wonderful Sunday is a beautiful slice of life from a time that could be many different times in many different places. It's a peaceful movie about the peace that is always there for a given person, their journey being to find it. I have rarely seen a sequence so beautifully crafted on film as the two lovers in the empty, decaying concrete exterior auditorium, where one resolves to create the music they have been struggling to hear. There is hardly a handful of filmmakers living today that would think of such a thing. Kurosawa may have had the clearest, purest understanding of cinema out of any filmmaker.
½ July 2, 2008
There's a bit of exciting filmmaking going on here, such as when Masako addresses the "audience" in front of her about the importance of caring for the youth of Japan, while obviously speaking directly to the original theatrical audience. Not one of Kurosawa's absolute best, but a worthwhile film for any fan of the great director.
½ May 20, 2008
This classic Japanese chick flick is due for a remake. Anybody interested?
½ May 14, 2008
An innocent couple are awakened to hardships in contemporary Japan. This mediocre Kurosawa film is briefly elevated with the imaginary symphony sequence.
½ May 3, 2008
Lovely little film, though the ending drags on a bit too long.
½ May 2, 2008
La idea es excelente, un guion muy comprometido con lo que pasaba en la epoca de posguerra en el Japon. Tecnicamente es perfecta y el rodaje en locaciones hace dudar si fueron realmente los italianos los que crearon el dichoso Neorrealismo. Sin embargo la historia cae muchas veces en la cursileria facilona, ademas de que algunas secuencias estan alargadas hasta el hastio. Esto ultimo es un tipico pecado de Kurosawa. Interesante.
April 24, 2008
a sweet movie. i felt so bad for the main characters. i was crying throughout the whole movie. highly recommended, great story & cast. one of kurosawa's best works. this film is a must see.
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