MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 60 this week

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

7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 10,860 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 51 user | 59 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

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

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 32 titles
created 08 Apr 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 31 May 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 27 Jan 2012
 
a list of 24 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 42 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Millennium Actress (2001)

Millennium Actress (2001) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Millennium Actress.
7 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Paprika (2006)
Animation | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patient's 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
Animation | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 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
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 Iizuka, Toshihiko Seki, Michael McConnohie
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A teenage girl finds that she has the ability to leap through time. With her newfound power, she tries to use it to her advantage, but soon finds that tampering with time can lead to some rather discomforting results.

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  

A 27-year-old office worker travels to the countryside while reminiscing about her childhood in Tôkyô.

Director: Isao Takahata
Stars: Miki Imai, Toshirô Yanagiba, Youko Honna
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 | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A coming of age story involving young love and a mysterious music, coming from a crystal radio left as a memento by an absent father, that leads a young heroine deep into a hidden world.

Director: Makoto Shinkai
Stars: Hilary Haag, Corey Hartzog, Leraldo Anzaldua
Ocean Waves (TV Movie 1993)
Animation | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

As a young man returns home after his first year away at college he recalls his senior year of high school and the iron-willed, big city girl that turned his world upside down.

Director: Tomomi Mochizuki
Stars: Nobuo Tobita, Toshihiko Seki, Yoko Sakamoto
Time of Eve (2010)
Animation | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In the not too distant future androids have come into common usage. Taking the androids for granted, humans treat them as if they were common everyday tools, while on the other hand, some ... See full summary »

Director: Yasuhiro Yoshiura
Stars: Jun Fukuyama, Miki Itô, Yuri Lowenthal
Ani*Kuri15 (TV Series 2007)
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Stars: Takeshi Maeda, Akira Nakagawa, Shizuka Okohira
Animation | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

"Magnetic Rose" is about what happens when a deep space corporate freighter is called upon to investigate a distress signal from what ought to be a derelict space station. The space station... See full summary »

Director: Kôji Morimoto
Stars: Tsutomu Isobe, Kôichi Yamadera
Edit

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)
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 filtering of Chiyoko's life through film history allows the setting, characters, and the visual style of the film to change suddenly. Some of the scenes are reminiscent of Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints, while others evoke Akira Kurosawa movies (particularly Throne of Blood). Satoshi Kon has acknowledged the influence of Throne of Blood, but says that for the most part there are no specific references in his segments. Instead he drew on a vague general impression of the history of Japanese filmmaking and visual art for his different styles and stories; Kon insists that historical film was actually not a subject he had much familiarity with before he made Millennium Actress. He studied the settings and costumes carefully, however, and learned a lot in the making of the film, such as the history of the kimono. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Kyoji Ida: [Noticing that time and location have changed] Now we are in Kyoto! This is going faster than bullet train! This is the Edo period
Genya Tachibana: [appears visibly battered and badly wounded] Hey, Where is Chiyoko?
Kyoji Ida: Aren't you going to change clothes for this age?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tokyo Godfathers (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
more originality, life, individuality, and heart than in many movies being made in Hollywood
18 March 2004 | by See all my reviews

Chiyoko Fujiwara: even her names evokes 1,000 years of Japanese history beginning with the Fujiwara clan who dominated Japan a millennium ago as she dominated Japanese movies. The story begins with an elderly actress who recounts her life and career to a Quixotically worshipful producer and his Sancho Panza-like cameraman. Film juxtaposes with reality; and the triumphs and tragedies of one actress meld into those of Japan itself; objectivity and fantasy mock each other and dance with one another. At one moment the cameraman is making a pungent comment about cornball emotions, and the next moment he is dodging burning arrows from one of her movies. Perhaps, Chiyoko really is a woman cursed or perhaps blessed to endure 1,000 years of unrequited love. Perhaps the mysterious "human-rights activist" that she pursues through the centuries, and through one movie after another, represents an ever-receding ideal of love, truth, and human dignity that is yearned for by individuals and nations alike. They met just briefly, he gave her the key to "the most important thing in the world," and Chiyoko and the film characters she plays spend the next 1,000 years and the rest of her film career and the rest of her life trying to return it.

"Millennium Actress" and the techniques of animation were made for each other. Live-action could not possibly have created this stunning plunge though the centuries nearly as well, nor have depicted the transformation of a beautiful young women into a beautiful old woman. So-called live-action movies would have buried a live actress under layers of Yoda-like plastic to achieve the same effect.

Presumably you will be watching this on DVD; after you have watched this movie through once or twice, go back and select scene 12 and just watch that: it begins with an apprentice Geisha, (as played by Chiyoko), risking everything to pursue the human-rights activist (in this generation he is a rebel Samurai.) A merciless Javert-like pursuer barges in to ruin everything, but a Quixotic stranger rescues her for sake of idealistic love and sets her free to ride through the land of Japan to continue her search. She rides through Hokusai landscapes and through the battles of 19th-Century Japan. She continues undaunted even though the wheel of her curse keeps turning and is symbolized by increasingly modern modes of transportation: carriages, trains, bicycles; the splendor and tragedy of Japanese history whizzes by and still her journey continues. Her eternal quest for freedom turns into a freedom in itself, and -- by the way -- the medium of animation gives a mighty leap from the Saturday-morning ghetto to which American imaginations has confined it and shows off freedoms that live-action could never do as well.

This movie is action-filled but never manic; emotional but never overwrought; thought-provoking but never airy. The unpleasant little word Surrealism comes to mind -- it's unpleasant because it often evokes elitism, self-indulgence, and confusion. But "Millennium Actress" is never neurotic, never smug, and always invites the audience to join in the fun of mixing up film, memory, history, and desire, in surprising ways. There are enough delightful coincidences and plot twists to entrance an admirer of Shakespeare or Dickens. The musical score is excellent. The quality of animation is excellent, and these characters have more originality, life, individuality, and heart than in many movies being made in Hollywood.

After you have checked this out, look into Satoshi Kon's most recent movie "Tokyo Godfathers." Then investigate the movies of Hayao Miyazaki, who is the world's greatest maker of animated films, and also Miyazaki's fellow geniuses of Studio Ghibli. 9/10


61 of 68 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:
?