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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Setsuko Hara's remarkable performance highlights a powerful story of the role of women in post-war Japan
Robin Woods in his fascinating new book of criticism "Sexual Politics and Narrative Film" writes eloquently about this film as a defining example of Ozu's films progressive nature. I would agree and add wholeheartedly that even after reading Wood's non-traditional take on Ozu I was still blown away by the film's rich identification with the character of Noriko (played by the legendary Setsuko Hara). The story is simple: Noriko a single Japanese woman is living a seemingly happy life caring for her widowed aging father. Social pressures, however, force family and friends to believe that Noriko can only be fulfilled by entering into marriage, although Noriko seems to have no interest in marriage herself. With this simple narrative Ozu is able to create a relationship between his characters that is so rich and complete we feel we know them. As always this is done with the smallest of carefully studied behavior and the precision of mise-en-scene over fancy editing and dazzling camera movements. A wonderful, heartbreakingly real movie from one of Japan's greatest directors.
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