7.9/10
14,301
55 user 59 critic

Millennium Actress (2001)

Sennen joyû (original title)
Trailer
1:04 | Trailer
A TV interviewer and his cameraman meet a former actress and travel through her memories and career.

Director:

7 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Animation | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

On Christmas Eve, three homeless people living on the streets of Tokyo find a newborn baby among the trash and set out to find its parents.

Directors: Satoshi Kon, Shôgo Furuya
Stars: Tôru Emori, Yoshiaki Umegaki, Aya Okamoto
Perfect Blue (1997)
Animation | Horror | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A retired pop-singer-turned-actress' sense of reality is shaken when she is stalked by an obsessed fan and seemingly a ghost of her past.

Director: Satoshi Kon
Stars: Junko Iwao, Rica Matsumoto, Shinpachi Tsuji
Paprika (2006)
Animation | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patients' dreams is stolen, all hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist can stop it: Paprika.

Director: Satoshi Kon
Stars: Megumi Hayashibara, Tôru Emori, Katsunosuke Hori
Paranoia Agent (TV Series 2004)
Animation | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Seemingly unconnected citizens of Tokyo are targeted for bludgeoning by a boy with a golden baseball bat. As detectives try to link the victims, they discover that following the assaults, the victims' lives have improved in some way.

Stars: Shôzô Îzuka, Toshihiko Seki, Michael McConnohie
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A high-school girl acquires the ability to time travel.

Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Stars: Riisa Naka, Takuya Ishida, Mitsutaka Itakura
Memories (1995)
Animation | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

"Memories" is made up of three separate science-fiction stories. In the first, "Magnetic Rose," four space travelers are drawn into an abandoned spaceship that contains a world created by ... See full summary »

Directors: Kôji Morimoto, Tensai Okamura, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Shigeru Chiba, Hisao Egawa, Kayoko Fujii
Animation | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Told in three interconnected segments, we follow a young man named Takaki through his life as cruel winters, cold technology, and finally, adult obligations and responsibility converge to test the delicate petals of love.

Director: Makoto Shinkai
Stars: Kenji Mizuhashi, Yoshimi Kondou, Satomi Hanamura
Animation | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In an alternate postwar timeline, Japan is divided into the Union-controlled North and the US-controlled South.

Director: Makoto Shinkai
Stars: Hidetaka Yoshioka, Masato Hagiwara, Yuka Nanri
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In Treasure Town, life can be both peaceful and violent. This is never truer than for our heroes, Black and White - two street kids who claim to traverse the urban city as if it were their ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Arias
Stars: Kazunari Ninomiya, Yû Aoi, Yûsuke Iseya
Animation | Action | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A cyborg policewoman and her partner hunt a mysterious and powerful hacker called the Puppet Master.

Director: Mamoru Oshii
Stars: Atsuko Tanaka, Iemasa Kayumi, Akio Ôtsuka
Metropolis (2001)
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Kenichi and his uncle Shunsaku Ban must find the mystery behind robot girl Tima.

Director: Rintaro
Stars: Toshio Furukawa, Scott Weinger, Yuka Imoto
Summer Wars (2009)
Animation | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A student tries to fix a problem he accidentally caused in OZ, a digital world, while pretending to be the fiancé of his friend at her grandmother's 90th birthday.

Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Stars: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Nanami Sakuraba, Mitsuki Tanimura
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Miyoko Shôji ...
Mami Koyama ...
Fumiko Orikasa ...
Shôzô Îzuka ...
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)
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Chiyoko herself is somewhat reminiscent of Setsuko Hara, a famed Japanese movie star of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, who likewise withdrew suddenly from public life. Satoshi Kon has recognized this influence in an interview, also citing Hideko Takamine, but insisting that Chiyoko is primarily a universal human character. See more »

Goofs

The length of the key changes several times. See more »

Quotes

Chiyoko Fujiwara: My lord!
[Approaches the body of the lord]
Chiyoko Fujiwara: Why don't you wait for me?
Genya Tachibana: [trying to mourn] I...
Kyoji Ida: Do you cried in all her movies?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Paprika (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Defying time and space, love is consummated
20 December 2003 | by (CAN) – See all my reviews

Reprising roles that span a millennium, an actress who longs for her first love re-enacts the drama of affirming her love for him. 'Millennium Actress' puts the theme of unrequited love in a light that is universally encompassing. It is ultimately a story of a pure-hearted character whose loving devotion to one person, innocently conceived and passionately guarded, lends itself sentience and weaves fiction with stark reality of often longing and despair. There is no doubt that this film has left me profoundly impressed.

'Millennium Actress' adopts an esoteric 'film within film' form that is disclosed in flashbacks by the actress, Chiyoko. Her highlights of her cinematography is interwoven with real events of her life, and both fiction and non-fiction aspects of her life adhere to the context of concise Japanese history. Some of these flashbacks at least in their thematic references recur more than once, and variations between them become clever plot devices that lend meaningful depth of time and space to the film.

The recurring and consistently relevant symbols in the flashbacks not only pique the viewer's interest, but also anchor a means to explain the psyche of Chiyoko. Her reaction in each flashback and present to one particular entity is another indication of her perspective on her love, one of many signs of deep implication that enhances the film.

The animation in the film tends to be minimalist except for a few instances where it is cast in significant passage of film (for example running), but the art direction and technique which realize various era of Japanese history and provides a fluid transition between fictional flashbacks to accounts rooted in reality is most elegantly and superbly executed. Character design is accordingly appealing, especially the depiction of Chiyoko through various stages of her life that delineates the same dignity and purity. So much so that it seems almost as if Chiyoko itself transcends to some abstract form of ideal love, only unrequited, and therefore something of great potential but not wasted; since it essentially defies time and space, as allegorically portrayed in her various film roles.

The director Satoshi Kon commented in his interview on his pleasure with the music, which seems to be electronically assembled with a lot of repetition. It sometimes stands out as a bit overbearing and idiosyncratic, yet considering the nature of theme from the film it does not detract from the overall viewing experience.

Only note of letdown, if there is any point to it at all, comes from my personal disdain for a rather melancholy sequence at the end. Yet, a conventional Hollywood resolution would not apply here. As a footnote to my rambling, and for which I must apologize, I should add that 'till death do us part' could not be more opposite of what this film professes.

9/10


12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Beautiful Propaganda. memoryofyourface
Let's Celebrate the Movie with a Game goodfellow408
The wraith's line? CsikosPost
The films ending + confusion emc1907
Age-difference between Chiyoko and Genya xenobium
rouroni kenshin cameo? tamajinn
Discuss Millennium Actress (2001) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?