This starts off like many of these late Ozu films — with a bunch of guys around a table talking about nothing much in particular…
So what’s it going to be about this time?
Is it the same group of men as in the previous movie? I mean, Ozu uses the same troupe of actors a lot, so that’s not really significant, but they’re also ragging on the hostess here using similar in-jokes which befuddles her in much the same way as earlier…
I’m pausing to read the DVD liner notes. Be right back!
Ohhh! This is a remake of the much earlier Late Spring film… Sutsuko Hara played the daughter in that movie, and now she plays the mother… How odd. In any case, I haven’t seen Late Spring — it’s not part of this box set — but since Ozu is doing a remake, perhaps he’s knowingly putting in callbacks to other films, too.
Whaa…. that’s exactly the same hallway as in Equinox Flower!
And that’s the same office!
I think the liner notes neglected to mention some stuff.
No, hang on…
Different room number and different colour chairs. So totally different!
This is most amusing. It’s about three middle aged men who’ve somehow gotten it into their minds that they have to find a husband for the daughter of a woman they had a crush on when they were young — and the daughter is not having it at all.
This really is brilliant. Ozu is poking fun at these old guys, but in a good-natured way. It’s kinda touching?
Every scene mixes fun with wistful melancholia (and sometimes some anger at Japanese conservative society, but gently). It’s hard to stop smiling while watching this.
The film kinda takes a turn for fake drama towards the end — I find it in-credible that Ayako would believe that old fogey over her old mother — the film had established Ayoko as a pretty sharp cookie, so that just didn’t work for me.
Man, what a lovely movie. It’s almost kinda perfect — it’s funny (I laughed out loud a few times and kept smiling the rest of the 2:09 running time) and it’s touching, and it doesn’t have a pat ending. It is… dare I say it… even better than Tokyo Story in some ways.
Then again, Tokyo Story packs a bigger emotional wallop than this does. Still:
Late Autumn. Yasujirô Ozu. 1960.
This blog post is part of the Eclipse series.