An ageing couple travel from their rural village to visit their two married children in bustling, postwar Tokyo. Their reception is disappointing as the children send them off to a health spa. A survey on the rich and complex world of family life.
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Amour filial, amour bancal ? Très beau film sur les relations parents/enfants quand des milliers de kilomètres séparent les uns des autres. La distance précipite le sentiment en indifférence et le parent en embarras.
L'un des classiques d'Ozu les plus célébrés, avec une mise en scène toujours épurée (et les célèbres plans "à hauteur de tatami") et des réflexions humanistes - sur la famille et ses problèmes insolubles, entre autres - qui a priori ne risquent pas trop de vieillir...
Once you get used to the mastery of Ozu's directive style, the real geniality in this film is that certain ambiguity that will make you think about what's right and wrong, what's good and what's bad, or what's really worth in life; if we must take the time to care and love each other (not only our parents) or if we earn the right to be selfish once we become independent adults.
So subtle and gentle that it almost flew right past me. But luckily I managed to grab on for the ride. My 2nd Ozu experience was just magical. The acting, visuals and composition were real perfection. This movie also just really affected me deeply, but not in the way I expected. I wasn't bawling at the end, but I definitely had a lot to let sink in. Life can be disappointing at times, and that's just the sad truth.
Tokyo Story is seen as Ozu's crowning achievement, perhaps because it gives an easy narrative handle to viewers: it is a film about literal loss and death, rather than the more amorphous subject of familial disentegration covered in many of his other films. To me, I have always felt in my gut that Ozu is the greatest film director of all, but I can never explain why adequately...