Tokyo Story (Tôkyô monogatari)

Critics Consensus

Tokyo Story is a Yasujiro Ozu masterpiece whose rewarding complexity has lost none of its power more than half a century on.



Total Count: 41
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Originally Tokyo Monogatari, Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story centers on a provincial Japanese family. The elderly parents and youngest daughter journey to Tokyo to visit their doctor son and his brood. Too busy for this onslaught of relatives, the callous, insensitive doctor packs his parents and sibling off to a resort, where they are unable to enjoy themselves due to the noise of the other tourists. The aging father locates some old drinking cronies, while the mother seeks out new friends. And so it goes, in Ozu's inimitable anecdotal fashion, until the tragic finale. A sensitive study of the frustrations and disillusionments accompanying the onslaught of old age (Ozu, incidentally, was only 51 at the time), Tokyo Story was completed in 1953, but not released in the U.S. until 1972.

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Chishu Ryu
as Shukishi Hirayama
Chieko Higashiyama
as Tomi Hirayama
Sô Yamamura
as Koichi Hirayama
Haruko Sugimura
as Shige Kaneko
Nobuo Nakamura
as Kurazo Kaneko
Eijirô Tono
as Sanpei Numata
Teruko Nagaoka
as Yone Hattori
Zen Murase
as Minoru
Hisao Toake
as Osamu Hattori
Toyoko Takahashi
as Shukishi Hirayama's Neighbor
Mutsuko Sakura
as Patron of the Oden Restaurant
Toru Abe
as Railroad Employee
Sachiko Mitani
as Noriko's Neighbor
Junko Anan
as Beauty Salon Assistant
Yoshiko Togawa
as Beauty Salon Client
Ryoko Mizuki
as Beauty Salon Client
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Critic Reviews for Tokyo Story (Tôkyô monogatari)

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (8)

  • Ozu's long shots, knee-high camera placement, and collapsed perspective -- as gorgeous and unsettling as a Cézanne -- gather power over the duration, but time itself is the master's most potent weapon.

    Nov 23, 2010 | Full Review…
  • This remains one of the most approachable and moving of all cinema's masterpieces.

    Jan 5, 2010 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    Wally Hammond

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Ostensibly a snapshot of postwar Japan in the midst of profound cultural change, it is the movie's painful depiction of familial disintegration that remains universal today.

    Jan 5, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • The way Ozu builds up emotional empathy for a sense of disappointment in its various characters is where his mastery lies.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The already towering reputation of this film and its director continues only to grow.

    Apr 9, 2004 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • It ennobles the cinema. It says, yes, a movie can help us make small steps against our imperfections.

    Jan 15, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

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