Huge upgrade over No Blood Relation. Naruse forgoes the frenetic camera and focuses on composition. The plot also suits him a lot better. The film really takes off in the second half where we're transported to a beautiful coastal town and emotions go from sweet to sour. The young geisha in this is so good but too bad she's the only character with any complexity. I hate goodbyes :(.
I really want to smack the son in the head for being such a shit. Like other Naruse, it's very humanistic and sympathetic. Humor is used sparingly to break up the dramatic tension; and anyways, that's life: sad/funny. I wasn't too fond of the score on Criterion's release of the film. A melancholic film like this would have benefited from more strings and less piano and xylophone(?).
I wasn't expecting this to be that fantastic, of course it is Naruse, but often his earlier films lack an edge that is so prominent in his later work. However, I am delighted to say that 'Apart From You' is a masterwork of silent cinema. Incredibly moving and profound, I was left speechless at the end and nearly shaken to tears. 5/5