In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.
Elderly couple Shukishi and Tomi Hirayama live in the small coastal village of Onomichi, Japan with their youngest daughter, schoolteacher Kyoko Hirayama. Their other three surviving adult children, who they have not seen in quite some time, live either in Tokyo or Osaka. As such, Shukishi and Tomi make the unilateral decision to have an extended visit in Tokyo with their children, pediatrician Koichi Hirayama and beautician Shige Kaneko, and their respective families (which includes two grandchildren). In transit, they make an unexpected stop in Osaka and stay with their other son, Keiso Hirayama. All of their children treat the visit more as an obligation than a want, each trying to figure out what to do with their parents while they continue on with their own daily lives. At one point, they even decide to ship their parents off to an inexpensive resort at Atami Hot Springs rather than spend time with them. The only offspring who makes a concerted effort on this trip is Noriko ...Written by
This film has a 100% rating based on 42 critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. See more »
At timer mark 1:45:46, when the children are visiting their mother at home and leave the room to talk with the father in an adjoining room, just as they sit on the floor, you see the shadow of the boom-mic just drop into the scene and back out again, just over the sons head on the top right of the screen. This shadow is well into the frame against the edge of what appears to be a bookshelf and should not be considered a masking mistake of the projectionist. See more »
[Tomi and Shukichi enter the hair salon]
Why, you're back so soon. You should have stayed longer!
[as she passes Shige teasing a customer's hair]
Hair salon customer:
Who are they?
Oh, just friends from the country.
[looks after Tomi and Shukichi with disdain]
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I need to say this: THIS MOVIE IS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!! Sure it starts off slowly, but the fact of the matter is the film is a great story of a family and the alienation associated with aging. This is the kind of movie that will make you reflect upon your own family and how you treat them.
I had never seen an Ozu film before, but now I feel as if I must see them all. His use of cinematic space is incredible. He breaks all sorts of conventions with his cinematography such as violating the axis of action. This gives the viewer the sense of a large, open, unrestricted world.
Going with this realism, the characters seem real; not for a moment did I see the people on the screen as actors. They were the family, and you as the viewer feels what they feel. Part of this comes from the use of head-on-shots such that the characters are speaking TO you.
It is a fantastic, moving piece of work and arguably one of the best films ever made.
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