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The Cherry Orchard (1990)

Sakura no sono (original title)
The film offers a glimpse at a group of school girls who are very flexible in terms of gender roles, playing males both in the school play and in real life. A modern-day all girls high ... See full summary »



, (book)
11 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Hiroko Nakajima ...
Yuko Shimizu
Miho Tsumiki ...
Noriko Sugiyama
Yasuyo Shirashima ...
Chiyoko Kurata
Miho Miyazawa ...
Kaori Jomaru
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chigusa Abe ...
Arimi Tashiro
Junko Asanuma ...
Kanako Onishi
Rika Furukawa ...
Keiko Matsumoto
Yumi Goto ...
Reiko Toda
Mihoko Hirono ...
Fan of Chiyoko
Megumi Iseri ...
Kimiko Kawai
Reina Ito ...
Fan of Chiyoko
Aki Kajiwara ...
Maki Kubota
Miki Kongoji ...
Shimako Inoue
Shoko Maruyama ...
Tamaki Nakamura
Yuichi Mikami ...
Yusuke Shimada


The film offers a glimpse at a group of school girls who are very flexible in terms of gender roles, playing males both in the school play and in real life. A modern-day all girls high school traditionally celebrates its anniversary by staging Chekov's play, but this year the faculty may cancel the play because Noriko, a senior, was seen smoking in a coffee shop with students from a rival school. Yuko has permed her hair and Kaori kisses her boyfriend on a couch. Written by L.H. Wong <as9401k56@ntuvax.ntu.ac.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

3 November 1990 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Cherry Orchard  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The whole story takes place on Apr 14. Die-hard fans watch it on Apr 14 every year. See more »


Remade as The Cherry Orchard: Blossoming (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Maybe next year...
4 April 2006 | by (Oriental State of Mind) – See all my reviews

I first saw this film some years ago, vaguely remembering its premises, and perhaps due to my age and other untimely factors, I wasn't moved or impressed with it back then. Recently I felt inclined to watch it again for some reason.

The story, based on a comic by Akimi Yoshida, surrounds a group of girls of a strict all-girl school, where each year to celebrate their anniversary the students, with the help from their teachers, stage plays. This year they decided on Anton Chekhov's the Cherry Orchard and after vigorous rehearsals the play fell in jeopardy of facing cancellation because of one student getting caught smoking after school. The film itself heavily mirrors a stage setting as a big classroom with 30 plus students serves as a theatrical podium for girls to prance in and out of the spotlight, gossiping and discoursing about the smoking incident affecting their months long dedication as well as other issues regarding boys and family. For a film dealing with a story of one particular day in their lives, it felt as if the director wasn't looking at his watch and knowing little bit about Shun Nakahara, the voyeuristic approach of shooting in this film wasn't all too surprising.

The young actors here didn't have to dive deep to intensify their dialogue, because the story was in content with flowing on the same stream of minimalistic events, never sidetracking, nor seeking for more stronger dramatic consequences. Sometimes I'd forget that the girls were acting as the camera would often sway in the big room, from one conversation to another, with little regard to completion of each sentence caught in the long shots. Obviously there was a forefront of certain characters, from the talk of the day about one classmate named Yuko getting curls and possibly facing a penalty from school officials, to Yuko's almost Sapphic infatuation with Chiyoko who had a history and preference of playing male parts in past productions. Their scene together in early 20th century gowns, taking shots together is probably one of the most beautiful and effortlessly sensual scenes shared by two women on screen without the unnecessary glorifications.

The transformation of these characters nearing the play at the end of the film, in full make-up, was truly applaudable as the actors felt more natural in them than without them. The final 15 minutes breathed the life into the otherwise mundane, low-tempo film. The ending was non-climatic as expected and many aspects were left untouched. After all, these characters were too real and unpretentious to have left us fully satisfied in a story trailing them for only one day, and perhaps just like the cherry orchards their full blossom was yet to occur. In the end I'm glad I watched this film again and even though it didn't caused a great impingement on me, I gained certain admiration for it which I didn't attain in the past.

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