Kinoshita's first film after the end of World War II is a wrenching, superbly wrought tale about a liberal-minded Japanese family torn apart by war and imperialist politics. Morning for the... See full summary »
Ichikawa's cameras follow the 1964 Summer Olympics from opening to closing ceremonies. Sometimes he focuses on spectators, as athletes pass in a blur; sometimes he isolates a competitor; ... See full summary »
Shiba, a wandering ronin, encounters a band of peasants who have kidnapped the daughter of their dictatorial magistrate, in hopes of coercing from him a reduction in taxes. Shiba takes up ... See full summary »
In this adaption of the Ibsen stage play, an idealistic physician discovers that the town's hot springs are dangerously contaminated. But with the community relying on the spa for tourist dollars, his warnings to the falls for deaf ears.
Kenji is a small thief who likes drinking and fighting. When he falls in love with sweet and simple Yazue, and she finds out what kind of guy he really is, she leaves him 'until he becomes ... See full summary »
A woman's struggle for equality in Japan in the 1880s. Eiko Hirayama leaves Okayama for Tokyo, where she helps the fledgling Liberal Party and falls in love with its leader Kentaro Omoi, ... See full summary »
Kinoshita's first film after the end of World War II is a wrenching, superbly wrought tale about a liberal-minded Japanese family torn apart by war and imperialist politics. Morning for the Osone Family is both palpably bitter about the nation's fresh wartime wounds and inspiringly hopeful about a democratic tomorrow. Written by
It is well known that the Japanese people themselves suffered quite a bit during World War II, especially during the last couple years. Of course, given the oppressive nature of the government at the time, no film makers were allowed to show this in any of their movies. So when the war was over and the Japanese movie industry ramped up again, many directors (with the encouragement of the Occupying Forces) took up this subject. That this subject was popular with Japanese audiences can be gauged by the fact that Morning for the Osone Family was ranked as the best movie of the year by Kinema Junpo magazine, while Kurosawa's similarly themed No Regrets for Our Youth was ranked right behind it.
But that was nearly seventy years ago. Has the movie held up over the years? In my eyes, no. The story is about a family of (mostly) pacifist intellectuals and all of the horrible things that happen to them during the war. Part of the problem is that so many tragedies befall them that it starts to feel contrived after a while. Nearly all of the movie is set within the family's house and there is no incidental music, so the whole feels like a rushed adaptation of a play. The performances are all well done but the actors cannot overcome the over the top melodrama. I'm sure watching this movie at the time of its release was cathartic for its viewers but now it is more of a curiosity piece than anything else. For anyone interested in watching a movie on this subject, I would recommend the far superior No Regrets for Our Youth instead.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?