Ukigumo (Floating Clouds) (1955) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ukigumo (Floating Clouds) (1955)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Ukigumo (Floating Clouds) Photos

Movie Info

Floating Clouds is set in the dissolution of Japanese society after the war. Yukiko wanders figuratively and literally through a devastated Tokyo searching for a means of existence and comfort. At all turns, she is manipulated by men and forced to submit to their manipulations when she is unable to support herself. Returning to Tokyo at the end of the war, Yukiko tries to get a number of jobs but none of her attempts are successful. As a result she turns to prostitution, catering to American occupation forces. During this time a number of men, including her brother-in-law and her former lover Tomioka, come forward to help her, but their generosity is only a mask for their sexual desires. Eventually Tomioka's wife dies and he takes Yukiko to an island where he is to begin a new job. Their happiness is forestalled when Yukiko, sorely tried by her life, falls ill and dies. ~ Brian Whitener, Rovi
Art House & International , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Criterion Collection


Hideko Takamine
as Yukiko Koda
Masayuki Mori
as Kengo Tomioka
Mariko Okada
as Osei Mukai
Isao Yamagata
as Sugio Iba
Chieko Nakakita
as Kuniko Tomioka
Daisuke Katô
as Sekichi Mukai

Critic Reviews for Ukigumo (Floating Clouds)

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (2)

Quietly eloquent, immaculately crafted.

Full Review… | May 22, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

[Naruse's] meanings are contained in his actors' faces and in his distinctive dovetailing of dramatic incidents, a narrative pattern that allows his characters no rest, but affords a strange peace in its constancy.

Full Review… | December 6, 2005
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The lights-out melodrama might be the master filmmaker's best film.

Full Review… | July 19, 2013
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A colleague astutely described Floating Clouds's ever-deepening sense of detachment as a precursor to Fassbinder.

Full Review… | November 8, 2005
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Ukigumo (Floating Clouds)

Melodrama with very rare sensibility and tremendously affecting performances.

George Matalliotakis
George Matalliotakis

Super Reviewer

Naruse's films are always well-made, but in my opinion they don't do much to distinguish themselves, especially compared to similar work by Mizoguchi and Ozu. Their main characteristic seems to be an air of cynicism. This one seems to be his most highly-regarded, but to me it was neither much better nor much worse than any other I'd seen. The jumps in time were the most interesting aspect. Like I said, it's well-made, and I liked it, I just didn't think it was especially noteworthy.

Martin Teller
Martin Teller

This is definitely the most melodramatic Naruse I've seen thus far. That aside, the two protagonists here are arguable the most complex and nuanced. Naruse presents them as very flawed individuals who despite their feelings toward each other, constantly put each other down while harming the people around them. This is very much a self destructive romance between a weak willed and selfish man and a strong woman who cannot abandon her love for him. It's interesting Masayuki Mori plays the man in that he comes to the same realization of how he took his wife for granted in here as in the character he played in Ugetsu. Props to Hideko Takamine for a terrific performance.

X. T. C.
X. T. C.

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