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

PG  |   |  Animation, Drama, Fantasy  |  14 September 2002 (Japan)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 13,206 users   Metascore: 70/100
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A TV interviewer and his cameraman meet a former actress and travel through her memories and career.


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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)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

14 September 2002 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Millennium Actress  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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


$37,285 (USA) (26 September 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Various photographic effects of aging are used in order to make the Chiyoko's films seem old: were filmed separately and passed through different laboratory and telecine processes from the rest of the film, no CG effects were used. See more »


The early Chiyoko's films (according to history during the late 30s and early 40s) are made in color, but Carmen Comes Home, the first color feature film in Japan, using Fujicolor, was made in 1951. See more »


Kyoji Ida: Leaving work behind? That's inappropriate!
Genya Tachibana: You don't understand women
Kyoji Ida: You do?
Kyoji Ida: [Chiyoko reads the newspaper from a man besides her. There's a headline about a clash in Manchuria] But he's a lucky guy, if she follows him to a place so far.
Genya Tachibana: I would like to be him!
See more »


References 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent blending of reality and illusion
12 February 2005 | by (Glen Cove, New York) – See all my reviews

The life story of an actress told to reporters that blurs the line between reality and fantasy as the movies she made become he life and vice versa.

A wonderful continuation of of the ideas in the brilliant thriller Perfect Blue, we once again have our perceptions turned upside down and sideways. Who is telling the truth, or more importantly is it even possible to know when all we are anyway is a half remembered collection of memories, are notions thrown at us and left for us to determine on our own. This is a film that probably could never have worked as a live action film simply because the changes between reality, memory and movie could never be as seamless as they are here.

This is a movie for grown ups and very clearly shows why those who think animated films are only for kids is missing out.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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