Sans aucun lyrisme surnuméraire ni débordement mélodramatique lacrymal, avec une étonnante actrice (Hideko Takamine) d'une époustouflante présence scénique, une œuvre solide et prenante qui évite adroitement tout jugement moral sentencieux et condamnation intempestive, pour se cantonner dans une efficace description quasiment entomologique d'un milieu sociologique spécifique. www.cinefiches.com
Melodrama at it's finest that's not merely a play on emotions, but a complex look at the place of women in post-WWII Japan and struggle to establish oneself outside of the subservience of a male dominated world. The struggle to decide how to basically live, and maintain virtue amidst a world of corruption. Naruse camera work isn't revolutionary, but still compelling with it's focus on the herione Keiko.
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs is often considered one of Mikio Naruse's best (sligthly beyond Floating Clouds) and it's one of my favorite movies from post-war Japan. It tells the story of the bar hostess Keiko who, as a mama-san, holds some authority and power within her society. She is facing a crossroad in her life; should she marry, or open her own bar?
This is one of my favourite Mikio Naruse films, and it just happens to feature Tatsuya Nakadai and Hideko Takamine onscreen together, two of my favourite Japanese film stars. I've re-watched this classic in memory of the late Keiko Awaji who passed away on January 11.