A fairly dark story for Ozu, but you know what? I think that shows Ozu can do just a little different than what everyone expects of him. The ingredients of this stuff isn't just melodrama, it's soap opera - disappointed father, absentee mother, an abortion, and a closed off young woman who doesn't know what to do with herself, certainly not around the deadbat man in her life. But it's how Ozu goes about - I felt deeply for this family since it builds from a place that just feels real - and awkward in its reality. I think in many of Ozu's films the kind of nice-ness people have to one another (I don't know if this is just in Japan or just elsewhere) is a cover for what they really think and feel. A lot of what is in the early parts of Ozu films are mundane, just pleasantries, making tea, talking some minor gossip or 'how was your day' stuff. But then it goes into some areas that are much darker, or just can't be seen by the surface of the rituals of Japanese familial ties and relations. And in this film Ozu really made it a point that this family is torn by secrets and lies, and it's so under the surface that it becomes palpable. And there's a noirish quality here that works interestingly, as the sister Akika stews away with her secret in a bar, and doesn't even know the bigger secret about her birthright (and a tinny song Ozu plays often in the film, even in the most tragic scenes, adds a whole other level of the familiar but sadness). I was touched by Tokyo Twilight, and it wasn't a sudden effect - it came over me gradually, like an old friend coming by and then finding out through a long and staggering conversation what hard times there have been. It's tragedy in full dimensions
Oh, and why is this NC-17? You kidding?