Tokyo boshoku - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Tokyo boshoku Reviews

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Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
½ August 21, 2017
This film is methodical in developing its tale of troubles for a Japanese family, which had a wife run away from her husband and two daughters when they were young, the older daughter (now grown) running away from her own unhappy marriage, and the younger daughter running with the wrong crowd and getting pregnant. Despite all these dark elements, the film is very prim and proper in its delivery, and rather quiet.

The older daughter is played reasonably well by Setsuko Hara, but she's upstaged by Ineko Arima, who plays her rebellious younger sister. The scenes with Arima frustrated by her lover's games, dealing with an unwanted pregnancy, and wondering if she was the product of an affair of her mother's are among the best in the film. It was interesting to contrast the handling of abortion by director Yasujiro Ozu with that by 'new wave' director Nagisa Oshima (Cruel Story of Youth, 1960), and the American Robert Mulligan (Love with the Proper Stranger, 1963).

The issues I had with the film all relate back to Ozu's direction. Early on in the film you'll notice actors often staring directly into the camera as they deliver their dialogue, particularly the father (Chishu Ryu). These simple shots seem dated, even for the time period. As the film progresses, it's too ponderous in many of its shots and scenes, such that it ends up being much too long at 140 minutes. Lastly, I disliked the fact that it was ultimately a morality tale. With a heavy hand, Ozu essentially tells us it's important to keep a marriage together even if it's unhappy, because one parent will not be enough. The message is dated, and his delivery lacks artistry.
August 3, 2017
A serious drama confronting taboos and Japanese culture. Certainly not as race-y as it was made out back in the day, it just took on issues like abortion and previous extramarital affairs. Expertly directed and haunting at times. Powerful music to boot.
January 7, 2014
Two sisters, who live with their father; one has run away from her husband with her child and the other has become pregnant after an affair. One day, they are astonished to find that their mother is alive and in their own town. Ozu's drama is both touching and gripping from start to end with its developments, careful stunning photography and meticulous character study and human emotions like sorrow and regret.
August 31, 2013
Yasujiro Ozu has directed here a beautiful and simple drama about a Japanese family's misfortune.
½ June 9, 2013
There are powerful scenes in this film, but I can't shake the feeling that it's one of Ozu's weaker efforts, and certainly one of his most melodramatic.
September 9, 2012
Feels like a complete departure in some ways for Ozu. Themes of abortion and suicide make it fodder for the Lifetime Channel today, but comes across as spare and devastating in the master's hands. A poignant and realistic final 20 minutes
½ February 4, 2012
What appears simple in Ozu is really quite complex. In this, the director reflects life as it is, taking an audience along a winding paths that lead to tragedy and if not outright joy, a kind of melancholic hope. The film cuts at just the right moments, Ozu building a rhythm to the many set-up shots, or cutting directly from one scene to another in a way that deepens the significance of the moment (e.g. the cut from the clinic to the baby). Hara is subdued, but wondrous as always.
December 5, 2011
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?
Super Reviewer
September 19, 2011
My second viewing of Tokyo Twilight was on the big screen. I loved it before, now I adore it. The second time allows you to appreciate the film even more, as the pacing is better when you know where it's going. The film focuses on the ever dependable Chishu Ryu. He has raised his two daughters after his wife up and left. His eldest daughter is in an abusive relationship. The youngest has an unexpected pregnancy. And his wife has recently returned to Tokyo. This unexpected return really messes with the youngest daughter who can't accept being an abandoned child. Even when dealing with heartbreaking situations Ozu usually finds some optimism in his stories. Tokyo Twilight is a lot darker. As the title would suggest, it teeters between lightness and darkness, but will eventually become night. Abusive marriages, unexpected pregnancies, family members returning. It's a recipe for great drama and in Ozu's careful fingers, he doesn't descend into melodrama. The film begins with Ryu as the protagonist, but it gradually moves towards the youngest daughter before going to Setsuko Hara. These changes keep the film interesting and allow all the plot elements to come together. His shots are sparse and focused. The music is light but aids each scene. As one woman stares at a child after a difficult decision, it's obvious to know exactly how she feels without any words being spoken, it's great cinema.
September 13, 2011
Ozu's darkest look on life, love and loss.
August 7, 2011
One of the slowest Ozu's pictures but the most rewarding and mesmerizing.
July 12, 2011
Much darker than the other Ozu films I've seen, both visually and thematically. I still think Ozu works better in color, but this film was also better than "Late Spring", in my opinion. Very heartbreaking all-around.
May 17, 2011
When you watch an Ozu movie, you wonder why you waste your time watching movies based on comic book superheroes.
½ May 16, 2011
Ozu tackles melodrama (straying into Naruse's more depressing territory), depicting a family headed by Chishu Ryu (yes, with oldest daughter Setsuko Hara) that is beset by troubles, first and foremost, the delinquency (and unintended pregnancy) of youngest daughter, Akiko. The suggestion is that the absence of the girls' mother (who deserted Ryu for another man) is one cause of their problems although things are not that clear cut. All of this plays out in the usual Ozu style, albeit with a darker tone than usual and more tense histrionics from the main characters.
December 22, 2010
wonderful movie about crumbling of a middle-class Tokyo family Gr8 direction stylish direction i wuld say and awesome performances.....Highly recommended
July 31, 2010
sounds alot better for the use of the word 'twilight'
March 27, 2010
Slow boiler of a drama that weaves an intricate story of a family disintegration. Ozu's direction is simplistic often so subtle that the impact of the scene is not felt until later. There's no over-dramatisation in his films and Tokyo Twilight is a supreme example of this. Slowly but surely, he drags the family through this tale of loss and sorrow until there is there is little left. Certainly a masterpiece of Ozu's and so much darker than his other work.
½ February 18, 2010
Hard to feel anything except perfection in the presence of one of Ozu's film gems. Each one seems to parse time and action to perfection, attuned to the most subtle of emotions. The stories are almost always family genograms that amply reflect social values. In Japan anything out of acceptance incurs shame, as it does in many other places. In Japan bearing shame without emotional expression is par for the course. All the emotions are felt but how they are reviewed and allowed reveals an extraordinary internal system of emotional management. These are quiet films about events and emotions of enormous import, handled with great care. The tatami-view of the camera, coupled with the precise pace of the narrative, induces a somnolent state and it's not impolite I think to drift off to an Ozu film. They are slow and delicate and we like watching them in parts over several nights, enjoying our stay with his simple yet evocative transitions and the fascinating ways he puts a scene together, as ornate and beautiful as any flower arrangement. All of his films, happy or sad, are poignant and underscored by love and longing. It is a special emotional perfume these flowers impart, unlike any other, and while his stories repeat themselves from film to film, there is comfort in that, knowing what will come in one form or another.
November 10, 2009
it a must watch, go see it
October 9, 2009
Familiar Ozu: same or similar actors, camera style, characters, subject matter, music, and even titles. But it can rarely be dismissed as remaking the same movie over and over again. Each has a distinctiveness to it, and one element or another in the Ozu stew is tweaked. This one starts out like any of the others but gradually reveals itself to be a much darker and more overtly dramatic film. It's shocking to see characters confront each other so boldly in an Ozu film. Shocking but refreshing.
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