"Such a completely realized example of the Ozu art that it seems impossible he did not intend it to be a kind of testament."
-NEW YORK TIMES
"Stylistically it's one of Ozu's purest, most elemental works: no camera movement, very little movement within the frames, and hardly any apparent narrative progression."
"Only this film and GOOD MORNING were made in colour, but Ozu applies it here with great care and precision, another mark of his sublime philosophical and cinematic continuity."
-TIME OUT NEW YORK
Director Yasujiro Ozu's final film, and a rare outing in color for him, continues his quietly observed explorations of family dynamics in postwar Japan. Frequent Ozu star Chishu Ryu plays Shuhei Hirayama, an aging widower whose three children each depend upon him in varying degrees. The eldest, Kazuo, who is married, is a spendthrift who purchases a new set of golf clubs, then hits up his indulgent dad for a loan to buy a refrigerator. The middle child, daughter Michiko, is a 24-year-old still living at home and happy to be the domestic fulcrum between her father and her younger brother, Koichi, a willful teenager. Shuhei's conviction that Michiko isn't ready for marriage scares away a potential suitor in whom she is also interested. But the old man has a change of heart after a long drinking session with several buddies, who warn him that Michiko might wind up an old maid, trapped in the web of loneliness he knows all too well. He arranges a marriage for her, and she finds herself caught between her own desires and her duty to her father. The story ends on the late afternoon of Michiko's wedding day, as Shuhei returns to his home to face life on his own, resigned to the fact that his daughter's happiness comes before his own.
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