Think you're being a bit harsh on Mike Leigh! If ever a British director could lay claim to the term 'British Ozu', it's Leigh.
"Like a great river with a calm surface and a raging current in its depths." For it to bring to mind the master... Well, that is the greatest compliment one can give a film.
Wonderful film. The breathtaking landscapes with washed out colors accompanied by chipping birds and the sound of trees moving in the wind all created a cold and gloomy ambience that went perfectly with the characters and the distance between them.
A film of such understated beauty and grace. The way Hogg experiments with light, shading and colour are sublime. No one is making films of this calibre in British cinema at the moment. Simply astonishing.
One of the most cinematically complete British films of the last 20 years. Not since Bill Douglas has a British film-maker utilized so perfectly the small details in both life and human interactions. It's almost like a mix between Chantal Akerman and Ozu.
I possibly would have said that too, until Joanna Hogg. I think there are moments and certainly themes that blends Leighs films with with Ozus cinema. However, I think Hoggs cinema reaches Ozus transcendent level much more. Leighs dramatic aspects occasionally resemble that of Ozu, but Hoggs overall cinematic nature matches that of Ozus philosophy. Leigh shows a lot of what Ozu liked to show, but Hogg likes to NOT show what Ozu didnt like to show (If that makes sense). But yeah I think I was a little harsh on Mike Leigh when I wrote that.
"I wanted in this picture to show life as a cycle. I wanted to depict mutability, I was not interested in action for its own sake. I didnt push the action at all, and the ending in consequence, should leave the audience with a poignant after taste" - Ozu I really got this ideaology more from Hoggs two films than most of Leighs.