7.9/10
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65 user 63 critic

Millennium Actress (2001)

Sennen joyû (original title)
Trailer
1:04 | Trailer

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A TV interviewer and his cameraman meet a former actress and travel through her memories and career.

Director:

Satoshi Kon
7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Miyoko Shôji Miyoko Shôji ... Chiyoko Fujiwara (70's) (voice)
Mami Koyama ... Chiyoko Fujiwara (20-40's) (voice)
Fumiko Orikasa ... Chiyoko Fujiwara (10-20's) (voice)
Shôzô Îzuka Shôzô Îzuka ... Genya Tachibana (voice)
Shouko Tsuda Shouko Tsuda ... Eiko Shimao (voice)
Hirotaka Suzuoki ... Junichi Ootaki (voice)
Hisako Kyôda ... Mother (voice)
Kan Tokumaru Kan Tokumaru ... Senior Manager of Ginei (voice)
Tomie Kataoka Tomie Kataoka ... Mino (voice)
Takkô Ishimori Takkô Ishimori ... Head Clerk (voice)
Masamichi Satô Masamichi Satô ... Young Genya (voice)
Masaya Onosaka Masaya Onosaka ... Kyoji Ida (voice)
Masane Tsukayama ... The Man with the Scar (voice)
Kôichi Yamadera ... The Man of the Key (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Stephen Bent Stephen Bent ... Junichi Otaki (voice)
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Storyline

A movie studio is being torn down. TV interviewer Genya Tachibana has tracked down its most famous star, Chiyoko Fujiwara, who has been a recluse since she left acting some 30 years ago. Tachibana delivers a key to her, and it causes her to reflect on her career; as she's telling the story, Tachibana and his long-suffering cameraman are drawn in. The key was given to her as a teenager by a painter and revolutionary that she helped to escape the police. She becomes an actress because it will make it possible to track him down, and she spends the next several decades acting out that search in various genres and eras. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, violence and brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

14 September 2002 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Millennium Actress See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,732, 14 September 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$37,285, 28 September 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Chiyoko herself is somewhat reminiscent of Setsuko Hara, a famed Japanese movie star of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, who likewise withdrew suddenly from public life. Satoshi Kon has recognized this influence in an interview, also citing Hideko Takamine, but insisting that Chiyoko is primarily a universal human character. See more »

Goofs

The length of the key changes several times. See more »

Quotes

Genya Tachibana: [Chiyoko recovers from a fainting] Are you okay?, Do you feel sick?
Chiyoko Fujiwara: [after taking a few medications] Never listen to doctors, they always think that old people are sick.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Paprika (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Our loves and our youth.
9 June 2009 | by wassapjySee all my reviews

Without a doubt, Millennium Actress is a masterpiece. Fluid scene transitions, vibrant colors, and gorgeous pieces of music not only allow, but forces the viewer to feel empathy for the character. I admit, I was teary eyed for several scenes in the movie, it's cinema at its best.

The story, like Kon's Perfect Blue, is told in a way where reality and fantasy are blurred and joined. Unlike Perfect Blue, the truth and fiction are not important matters in Millennium Actress. Perfect Blue was a movie about an event. Millennium Actress is a movie about an emotion: Love. That search for the long lost love is the only thing that keeps one young. Chiyoko, the main character, travels through centuries and millenniums to find it, but always fails. Yet her zealous passion for this quest is what ultimately keeps her young, even at death.

Watching this film, we will all be reminded of that one passion we've had during our youthful days and be reminded about our quest to fulfill that passion. Maybe that feeling will return after you've viewed this movie. Maybe you'll regret certain actions and decisions that you've made in the past. But that's of no importance. Because at that point, the film has done its job and you'll feel a little warmer inside.


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