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

PG  |   |  Animation, Drama, Fantasy  |  14 September 2002 (Japan)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 13,450 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 57 user | 59 critic | 15 from

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


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7 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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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
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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 length of the key changes several times. See more »


Chiyoko Fujiwara: [Dressed as a Geisha] Have mercy!
Eiko Shimao: [Dressed as the Main Geisha] NO!, I Don't let you go!
Chiyoko Fujiwara: But I will return, I just want to see him and give what belongs Him!
Eiko Shimao: How sweet you are. A man who is going to be executed, does not need anything.
See more »


Referenced in Tokyo Godfathers (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Good storytelling !!
18 July 2004 | by (Hell's Kitchen, NYC) – See all my reviews

If you have seen any other movies by Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers), you get the idea that he knows how to tell a story. The stories are told in a dramatic, yet unconventional way. The story is about a Japanese movie studio that is torn down. The current executive in charge gets an interview with the studio's star actress, whom has been living in seclusion for years and does not give interviews. The movie seamlessly integrates dramatic moments, with light humor and stunning visuals. The visuals are breathtakingly imaginative not in that they are exotic and surreal, but rather stunningly realistic. Where Perfect Blue is more about the dark side of human nature, this movie is about the resilience of the human spirit and hope. What is similar, is that the reality of the story is in question. What is real, and what is perceived, is based on the perspective of the viewer. Definitely a must see movie.

-Celluloid Rehab

12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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