Late Spring

1949 [JAPANESE]

Action / Comedy / Drama

28
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100% · 26 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 92% · 2.5K ratings
IMDb Rating 8.2/10 10 19470 19.5K

Director

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
884.99 MB
988*720
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 48 min
Seeds 2
1.71 GB
1472*1072
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 48 min
Seeds 34

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ccamp89 9 / 10

Powerful and Penetrating

After having seen and loving Tokyo Story, a film which is widely considered to be not only master Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu's best film, but also one of the greatest films ever made, I was very eager to see more. Many consider Late Spring another of his absolute best works, and I can happily say that it most definitely met my very high expectations. As with Tokyo Story, this a deep, masterfully-executed and penetrating film examining family life in Japan and the societal and generational pressures which shape it.

As with Tokyo Story, we enter this tale of father, Shukichi Somiya, and daughter, Noriko Somiya, in the middle. 27-year-old Noriko lives together with her father and they appear to be very close. Naturally, questions begin to arise in the mind of the viewer: where is Noriko's mother and why hasn't she ever married? Ozu does a fantastic job of coaxing these questions out in the film's early stages and gives us hints at what has transpired, but never spoon- feeds us by explicitly explaining the backstory. We learn that Noriko had been seriously ill at one point during a period of war and hardship, but has since recovered. Her mother is a mystery for much of the film, but it slowly becomes clear that she has died and that Shukichi is a widower. With this context, the film examines the father-daughter relationship between Noriko and Shukichi and the pressures on them both to have Noriko finally marry and "leave the nest", so to speak.

The strength of this film (and Tokyo Story alike) is how subtly and effectively it tells this story. The screenplay and pacing of the film are phenomenal in slowly and carefully peeling back the layers of the family dynamic. Throughout the film we question the actions and underlying motivations of each of the characters. By the end, the full vision snaps into focus and we are left with a melancholy ending that really sneaks up and packs quite an emotional punch.

Let's begin with Noriko. For the length of the movie she is adamantly against marriage, especially re-marriage. As the details of the backstory filter in, her reasoning begins to become clear. Noriko lost her mother which has obviously affected her very much. As a result, she is very close with her father and wary of leaving him behind. Her mother's death obviously must have been very hard for her father as well, and she references the fact that he needs her to take care of him. She feels that she must be there for him because she fears he may be lonely if she leaves and won't be able to cope as a widower. She is also understandably protective of her father – she is afraid to lose him like she did her mother. Thus, she can't bear the thought of him ever remarrying which, in her mind, could potentially jeopardize their relationship. As the film progresses though, pressures on Noriko to get married come from all sides – her aunt, father, and best friend (and ironically, divorcée) all urging her that she must take this long overdue and necessary step. To her, the relationship she has with her father is more than enough and brings her contentment. However, she is made to feel like she is being selfish in staying home with him, especially when it is suggested that he wishes to remarry. Thus, she eventually gives into these pressures and marries at the end of the film, but is clearly devastated and unhappy with her choice.

Shukichi can be analyzed in the same way. He seems to be very happy with his daughter home and with the lives they are leading together. It isn't until his sister, Masa, makes the observation that Noriko has gone far too long without marrying, that he begins to question things. He too begins to pressure Noriko that she must marry, and begins to insinuate that he wishes to remarry as well and that she need not worry about taking care of him. Many conversations seem to have taken place between Shukichi and Masa off-screen, as at the end of the movie it is revealed that Shukichi's plans for remarriage were fabricated by both he and Masa in order to influence Noriko in her decision. Shukuchi feigns happiness at Noriko's wedding (as does Noriko… quite poorly), but at the end of the film we see him return home to his empty house in a devastating scene where his true distress becomes apparent.

In this moment, the movie strikes a powerful note as we realize neither Noriko nor Shukichi wanted for this marriage to happen and neither are happy with the outcome. They were both made to feel selfish by others around them – Shukichi for keeping Noriko home so long with him and Noriko for keeping her father from remarrying. In reality, neither of these two things are true, but the characters are made to believe them through the pressures of their family and friends. Now, they find themselves in places that neither of them wanted or needed, but that society has deemed "correct" for them.

It's a poignant and thoughtful tale which is marvelously achieved by the strength of spectacular direction and acting. Setsuko Hara is absolutely radiant and Noriko. She shines in every single scene and has such an effortless quality to her acting that makes her every move feel completely natural. Chishû Ryû as Shukichi is equally brilliant as a caring father who is conflicted between keeping his daughter by his side and shooing her out the door to a more socially acceptable life. And everything of course is tied together by Ozu's absolutely masterful direction which makes for a film that is deep, thought-provoking, and emotionally resonant.

Reviewed by snow9 9 / 10

Highly recommended for people who are interested in post-war Japan or good films in general.

Late Spring was a very touching and profound film for me and a great example of a movie which tells its story more visually than with its narrative. This is something I appreciated very much as I do think Japanese films can sometimes have the tendency to spell things out a little too blatantly. It tells a story of marriage, not just between people, but between cultures, reflecting the rapid Westernization which Japan was experiencing during the period that this film was made. The way people sit, their furniture and the clothes they wear are all very important in showing where every character stands in this marriage between the old and the coming new during each scene. Good examples of this, which show the change taking place, are the contrast between the very first scene and the very last scene, as well as the two separate scenes which take place at the same bar. I really enjoy a film like this, for which you have to use a bit of thought to figure out what it's trying to get across, yet doesn't drive you completely crazy like for example 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Reviewed by kurosawakira 9 / 10

Marvelously Crafted

A heartwarming, amazing, impeccable film.

I still remember the shock I felt when I saw this. Such a visually radical, contemplative film full of so much emotion that it's bursting at the seams. The same atmospheric quietude that there's in all of his late films, contemplative but so telling and never silent, much like the performances, particularly that of Hara Setsuko. Then there's the humor: there are some of the most hilarious things in this film that I know of, including Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd and the Marx brothers.

The story appears simple, of course. That's the Ozu way — a simple skeleton that he uses to build on, visually, above all. The first shot at the beginning of the film, perhaps the third or fourth of the whole film, when we enter the house for the first time, is such a powerful transitory shot spatially that it gives me goosebumps: first a few introductory shots outdoors, the train station and so on, and then suddenly we enter the confined space of the house as if we were lying on our belly on the ground, looking at a room from the far end of the hallway. And then Noriko (Hara) enters.

The movie is full of such magical moments. The most famous scene of the film, that at the Noh theatre, is one, them leaving Kyoto for the last time is another, the final scene of the film being the logical emotional climax. It's marvelous, really: it's not over the top as if it tried either to go for realism or mechanically manipulate our emotions. On the contrary, I believe Ozu succeeds emotionally because his films open quietly and slowly. He doesn't push us into accepting anything, and he doesn't push his characters into doing anything, either. Marvelously crafted as if everything just appeared in front of our eyes without any rehearsal. It's a sign of a great filmmaker to let us into the film so deeply. The images stay.

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