Noriko is 27 years old and is still living with her father Somiya, a widower. Noriko just recovered from an illness she developed in the war, and now the important question pops up: when will Noriko start thinking about marriage? Everybody who is important in her life tries to talk her into it: her father, her aunt, a girlfriend. But Noriko doesn't want to get married, she seems extremely happy with her life. She wants to stay with her father to take care of him. After all, she knows best of his manners and peculiarities. But Noriko's aunt doesn't want to give up. She arranges a partner for her and thinks of a plan that will convince Noriko her father can be left alone.Written by
Arnoud Tiele (email@example.com)
The concept of mono no aware is said to define the essence of Japanese culture. The phrase means "a sensitivity to things", the ability to experience a direct connection with the world without the necessity of language. Yasujiro Ozu sums up this philosophy in Late Spring, a serene depiction of the acceptance of life's inevitabilities and the sadness that follows it. The film shows the pressure in Japanese families for children to be married as the "natural order" of things, regardless of their wishes. One wonders if Ozu, who never married, is sharing his own family experience with us.
In Late Spring, a widowed Professor, Somiya (Chishu Ryu), must face the inevitability of giving up his daughter, Noriko (Setsuko Hara) to marriage. Noriko, however, wants only to continue to live at home and care for her father and insists that marriage is not for her. Yet the social pressure to marry continues to build, coming not only from her father but also from Somiya's sister Masa (Haruko Sugimura) whom she calls "Auntie", and from a friend, the widower Onodera (Masao Mishima) who has recently remarried. Masa, unrelenting, presents Noriko with a prospect named Satake who reminds her of actor Gary Cooper, but she is still reluctant. To make it easier for Noriko to decide, Somiya tells her that he is planning to remarry and she will no longer need to take care of him. Noriko's agonizes over her decision and her once beaming face increasingly carries hints of resignation. At the end, the old man sits alone peeling a piece of fruit as the ocean waves signal the inexorable flow of timeless things.
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