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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 12,099 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 52 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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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

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

If the space mission spoken of in the film is the Apollo 11 mission, then the launch date should have been July 16, not July 20. See more »

Quotes

Eiko Shimao: Better get in there, Genya. The princess is not amused.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Our loves and our youth.
9 June 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Without a doubt, Millennium Actress is a masterpiece. Fluid scene transitions, vibrant colors, and gorgeous pieces of music not only allow, but forces the viewer to feel empathy for the character. I admit, I was teary eyed for several scenes in the movie, it's cinema at its best.

The story, like Kon's Perfect Blue, is told in a way where reality and fantasy are blurred and joined. Unlike Perfect Blue, the truth and fiction are not important matters in Millennium Actress. Perfect Blue was a movie about an event. Millennium Actress is a movie about an emotion: Love. That search for the long lost love is the only thing that keeps one young. Chiyoko, the main character, travels through centuries and millenniums to find it, but always fails. Yet her zealous passion for this quest is what ultimately keeps her young, even at death.

Watching this film, we will all be reminded of that one passion we've had during our youthful days and be reminded about our quest to fulfill that passion. Maybe that feeling will return after you've viewed this movie. Maybe you'll regret certain actions and decisions that you've made in the past. But that's of no importance. Because at that point, the film has done its job and you'll feel a little warmer inside.


13 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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