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Late Autumn (1960)

Akibiyori (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy , Drama | November 1973 (USA)
A widow tries to marry off her daughter with the help of her late husband's three friends.

Director:

Yasujirô Ozu

Writers:

Ton Satomi (novel), Kôgo Noda (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Setsuko Hara ... Akiko Miwa
Yôko Tsukasa ... Ayako Miwa
Mariko Okada Mariko Okada ... Yuriko Sasaki
Keiji Sada ... Shotaru Goto
Miyuki Kuwano ... Michiko
Shin'ichirô Mikami Shin'ichirô Mikami ... Koichi
Shin Saburi ... Soichi Mamiya
Chishû Ryû ... Shukichi Miwa
Nobuo Nakamura Nobuo Nakamura ... Shuzo Taguchi
Kuniko Miyake ... Nobuko
Sadako Sawamura Sadako Sawamura ... Fumiko
Ryûji Kita Ryûji Kita ... Seiichiro Hirayama
Fumio Watanabe Fumio Watanabe ... Tsuneo Sugiyama
Ayako Senno Ayako Senno ... Shigeko Takamatsu
Yuriko Tashiro Yuriko Tashiro ... Yoko
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Storyline

Family and friends of the late Shuzo Miwa have gathered for his annual memorial service, this one marking the seventh anniversary of his passing. Three of his long time friends - married Shuzo Taguchi, married Soichi Mamiya, and widowed Seiichiro Hirayama - have long known and admitted to each other that they have always been attracted to his widow, Akiko Miwa, who they believe has gotten even more beautiful as she has matured. The three friends take it upon themselves to find a husband for the Miwa's now twenty-four year old daughter, Ayako Miwa, who they believe as beautiful as her mother, and who, as a pure innocent, deserves a good husband. Their self-appointed task is despite them knowing that Ayako does not want them to do so. She doesn't want to get married, at least not yet, as she struggles with her traditional sensibilities in post-war modern Japan. Her first priority as she sees it is to take care of her widowed mother, who would be alone if she were to get married. The ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

November 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Late Autumn See more »

Filming Locations:

Tokyo Tower, Tokyo, Japan

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shôchiku Eiga See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original title "Akibiyori" means "Clear autumn day". See more »

Soundtracks

1st Movement
from "Piano Sonata No.11 A Major, K.331"
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
At the scene of a dressmaking school
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Overly familiar retread of former achievements.
28 August 2008 | by theskulI42See all my reviews

Well, it was bound to happen eventually: The more films I viewed from noted Japanese auteur Yasujiro Ozu, there was going to come a time when my well of interest ran dry. I have now seen ten of his films, and Ozu seems unique among filmmakers, even the most praised, by being essentially the anti-Billy Wilder. Where Wilder's mind was so brilliantly scattered that he did pictures in nearly every conceivable genre, and did them well, Ozu was always more interested in mining different stories out of the same cloth, hopping from patch to patch on a quilt of nuanced familial drama. Where Wilder branched out, Ozu dug his roots in deep. He had an exclusive stable of actors, comprising some of the most talented and, like their helmsman, subtly versatile actors in the business, including the transcendent Chishu Ryu and the great Sestuko Hara, appearing here as the mother to the always-adorable Yoko Tsukasa, essaying the role that Hara herself brought to life in Late Spring. Ryu has the remarkable ability to present to us a man of any age with very little in the way of physical alterations (in the span of five years, he played father, brother and grandfather to Hara and was utterly convincing in all). Hara has the exact opposite gift: That of an ageless wonder. Early on in Late Autumn, a comment is made that Hara and her daughter Tsukasa look more like sisters than mother-daughter, and it's absolutely true. In the eleven-year span from Spring to Autumn, Hara has swapped roles but kept the same face, and she brings her A-game yet again, looking more weary and fatigued than ever before.

But there's a problem. Where Ozu's style had always seemed evocative and direct, here is seems...stilted and awkward. The use of direct address in discussions seems disjointed and stiff. What felt emotionally confrontational in Late Spring comes off here as almost amateurish, merely content to blandly cut back and forth between one talking head and another. The fact that he's done that all his career perhaps says something about this film as an individual entity. Or perhaps it's just become all too familiar. When you're looking to derive a myriad of tales from the same few thematic points, there's always the danger of indifference; having the same actors play similar characters doing similar things in similar ways in movies with similar titles, it's a testament to his brilliance that he managed to make it more than one film, but here, it all just strikes of creative exhaustion: He's seemingly run out of stories to the point that he's now reworking the similar stories he's already done, as this is almost directly a remake of his 1949 masterpiece Late Spring, except mostly from the female perspective. While it appears to be a monumental shift for such a gradual director (I still remember first experiencing Tokyo Story and being so startled by its singular tracking shot that I was shaken to my core), actually far too little is new. Most of the motions and emotions we are presented with were all essentially inferred in Late Spring, and this seems if nothing else, an unnecessary diversion to a place we're already been.

Now this is not to say that the film is a complete dud. Everyone involved is so talented that they can't help but stumble into several moments of effective heartstrain, most notable the touching restraint of the final shot, but I just can't shake the feeling that with Late Autumn, instead of hopping to a new stitch on the quilt, he's stepping right back onto trampled-down, treaded ground. Where Late Spring presented this story and devastated me, going right to my heart and laying me out flat. To Late Autumn I'm a bit more...subdued. I never connected to the characters or the situation in any tangible or meaningful way, and my response to the film was less "Holy crap" and more "ho-hum".

{Grade: 6.5/10 (B-/C+) / #24 (of 34) of 1960}


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