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Millennium Actress (2001)
"Sennen joyû" (original title)

PG  |   |  Animation, Drama, Fantasy  |  14 September 2002 (Japan)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 12,953 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 57 user | 59 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

A TV interviewer and his cameraman meet a former actress and travel through her memories and career.

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Title: Millennium Actress (2001)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Miyoko Shôji ...
Mami Koyama ...
Fumiko Orikasa ...
Shôzô Iizuka ...
Genya Tachibana (voice)
Shouko Tsuda ...
Eiko Shimao (voice)
Hirotaka Suzuoki ...
Junichi Ootaki (voice)
Hisako Kyôda ...
Mother (voice)
Kan Tokumaru ...
Senior Manager of Ginei (voice)
Tomie Kataoka ...
Mino (voice)
Takkô Ishimori ...
Head Clerk (voice)
Masamichi Satô ...
Young Genya (voice)
Masaya Onosaka ...
Kyoji Ida (voice)
Masane Tsukayama ...
The Man with the Scar (voice)
Kôichi Yamadera ...
The Man of the Key (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Stephen Bent ...
Junichi Otaki (voice)
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Storyline

A movie studio is being torn down. TV interviewer Genya Tachibana has tracked down its most famous star, Chiyoko Fujiwara, who has been a recluse since she left acting some 30 years ago. Tachibana delivers a key to her, and it causes her to reflect on her career; as she's telling the story, Tachibana and his long-suffering cameraman are drawn in. The key was given to her as a teenager by a painter and revolutionary that she helped to escape the police. She becomes an actress because it will make it possible to track him down, and she spends the next several decades acting out that search in various genres and eras. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, violence and brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 September 2002 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Millennium Actress  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$18,732 (USA) (12 September 2003)

Gross:

$37,285 (USA) (26 September 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Commercially, the film performed modestly on its US release, earning $37,285 during its 3 week release. The film was shown almost exclusively in New York and Los Angeles, and received a minimal advertising campaign from Go Fish Pictures. See more »

Goofs

Although the cameraman is always filming the action while the red LED that indicates that the camera is recording is never turned on, this is probably a conscious decision by director Satoshi Kon as the 'recorded' scenes are fictional even within the context of the movie. See more »

Quotes

Senior Manager of Ginei: Our new movie is in Manchuria, it will cheer our soldiers... and the people of our nation! Certainly... Chiyoko wants serve to her country!
Mother: Perhaps, but this girl is too shy to be an actress, she will find a husband and they will take care of our shop.
[the mother looks to Chiyoko]
Mother: Isn't so?
Senior Manager of Ginei: Is more important for you a candy store than serve to our nation?
Mother: Does a woman does not serve her nation better staying at home and taking care for her children?
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Godzilla (1954) See more »

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User Reviews

 
a fight for love at its best
7 November 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Genya Tachibana is a TV documentary maker and has tracked down his favourite actress; Chiyoko Fujiwara. On interviewing her Genya presents her with an object she had lost long ago; a key. From there we are transported through time and see Chyoko story about lost love and her struggle to find it. The key belonged to a man she meet when she was young. He was a rebel on the run and Chiyoko gave him shelter. He gave her the key as a thank-you. When he disappears she sets out to find this man. Still young, Chiyoko is approached by a film maker to star in his new film; she accepts and sees this as a chance to find mysterious man. She become a huge success, but she is always empty, never finding the man she loves.

Satoshi Kon has created a wonderful film about the lose of love and the extraordinary lengths one woman will go to find it. What makes this an interesting watch is that when we go into Chiyoko's past, Genya and his camera man also walk around in her past; interacting with people. But its just not a trek through her past, her memories meld with the movies she has made; as the movies parallel her life on her journey of finding her love, but also time in history. The scenes we see are from the movies she has made, but the story is her own life; her reality and her imagination have just crashed into one another.

The animation here is just visually amazing. Satoshi Kon's character designs are so unique they set themselves apart from another animations. All the backgrounds are so detailed and textured. What i find great is that Satoshi Kon adds that tiny bit of surrealism; adding more dimension and thought, here its how Chiyoko's memories meld into the movies she's starred in. Satoshi's script is so deep and full of angst. Its hard to watch this woman on her quest for love always failing; yet she blindly keeps going no matter what.

At great movie about the journey of love and how its never ending; in this world and the next.


17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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