7.3/10
731
6 user 32 critic

Chiisai ouchi (2014)

A woman looks back on her family's life in Tokyo before and during WWII. A maid arrives from the countryside to work for an upper middle class family. She fits in well, but everyone's emotions are stirred up with the arrival of a student.

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(based on the novel by), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tokiko Hirai
...
Taki Nunomiya (younger)
Isao Hashizume ...
Professor Konaka
Kazuko Yoshiyuki ...
Professor Konaka's wife
Shigeru Muroi ...
Sadako
Tomoko Nakajima ...
Chikako Matsuoka
Aki Takejô ...
Kane
Yoneko Matsukane ...
Hanawa's Aunt
Takashi Sasano ...
Kazuo Hanawa
La Salle Ishii ...
Yanagi
Shôzô Hayashiya ...
Therapist
Uta Yotsuya
Rei Shibakusa
Isao Kataoka
Tomoko Takama
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Storyline

Following the death of the unmarried and childless Taki, Takeshi, a young relative of hers, discovers several pages of closely written lines in which the old lady has recorded her memories. This is how he learns the truth about her youth working as a housemaid and nanny for the Hirai family in a little house in Tokyo with a red gabled roof. Written by AnonymousB

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Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

25 January 2014 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

La casa del tejado rojo  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A Haunting, Dramatic Tale.
22 April 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Viewed at CineMatsuri 2015. Veteran Director Yoji Yamada provides a heart-wrenching story that moves back and forth over an 80 year span that he knows well, since he has lived through it! Painfully sad overall, but not maudlin, the film employs a conventional plot scenario: the recent discovery (with frequent surprises) of a diary written over many past decades by a recently deceased family member. In the hands of Master Director Yamada, this common story vehicle makes for a most uncommon photo play. It is a gripping (the viewer can not escape being pulled in--resistance is, indeed, futile!), emotionally jarring tale of an upper middle-class family that lived prior to WWII and died during the war (as "collateral damage"), and the pivotal role played by the family's maid who has survived (by leaving Tokyo in time), and, of course, is the diary's author. Most of the story takes place in a (relatively) little house on a hill in exurban Tokyo. It has a distinctive red-tiled roof, hence, is often referred to as the "little red house" through out the film. Direction is outstanding, and so is most of the acting. Actress Takako Matsu delivers a consummate performance as the bored and frustrated housewife. Cinematography (1.78 aspect ratio, color), lighting, and set design/decoration are excellent. Music lief motif is a bit on the French side, but quite good. Subtitles are often long, but linger sufficiently to be read without distracting from scenes. However (and regrettably), only above-the-line names are translated in the credits. Highly recommended. WILLIAM FLANIGAN, PhD.


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