Ukigumo (Floating Clouds) (1955)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Ukigumo (Floating Clouds) Photos
Critic Reviews for Ukigumo (Floating Clouds)
[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.
Audience Reviews for Ukigumo (Floating Clouds)
Melodrama with very rare sensibility and tremendously affecting performances.
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.
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.
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