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Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story (Tokyo Monogatari) follows an aging couple, Tomi and Sukichi, on their journey from their rural village to visit their two married children in bustling, postwar Tokyo. Their reception is disappointing: too busy to entertain them, their children send them off to a health spa. After Tomi falls ill she and Sukichi return home, while the children, grief-stricken, hasten to be with her. From a simple tale unfolds one of the greatest of all Japanese films. Starring Ozu regulars Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara, the film reprises one of the director’s favorite themes—that of generational conflict—in a way that is quintessentially Japanese and yet so universal in its appeal that it continues to resonate as one of cinema’s greatest masterpieces.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 41
- Fresh: 41
- Rotten: 0
- Average Rating: 9.7/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Luminous in its freedom from the sentimentality or the satire that so often obscure an artist's vision of normal living.
Fresh: Ozu's long shots, knee-high camera placement, and collapsed perspective -- as gorgeous and unsettling as a Cezanne -- gather power over the duration, but time itself is the master's most potent weapon.
Fresh: It ennobles the cinema. It says, yes, a movie can help us make small steps against our imperfections.
Fresh: Ozu doesn't sentimentalize or condemn; he merely observes human nature with calm and clarity.
A simple masterpiece.
Arguably the greatest film of Japanese cinema, it is also arguably the most heart-wrenching film ever made. A must-see.
A True Masterpiece
Every shot it perfect. This is a true piece of art. A major masterpiece. From beginning to end, Ozu’s direction is spot on. He has created one of the greatest films of all time. No one has come close to this style of storytelling.