Tokyo Story (Tky monogatari)
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As with much of director Yasujiro Ozu's work, a plot summary of this film does not do justice to the emotional power that Ozu lends to this sad, understated tale. An elderly couple, Shukichi (Chishu Ryu) and Tomi Hirayama (Chieko Higashiyama), leaves their small coastal village in southern Japan to visit their married children in Tokyo. Their eldest son, Koichi (So Yamamura), a doctor running a clinic in a working-class part of town, is too busy to show them around town, and their eldest daughter is occupied with her beauty salon. Only their widowed daughter-in-law, Noriko, played… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Ozu's long shots, knee-high camera placement, and collapsed perspective -- as gorgeous and unsettling as a Czanne -- gather power over the duration, but time itself is the master's most potent weapon."
‑ Eric Hynes, Village Voice
"Ozu doesn't sentimentalize or condemn; he merely observes human nature with calm and clarity."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"It soon becomes clear that they have planned their trip at a bad time; it is equally clear that every time is a bad time."
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"Ozu has made a film as simple in form and complex in nature as life itself. Here, every viewer is cast as a tourist, and yet will feel right at home."
‑ Anton Bitel, Little White Lies
"Newcomers to Ozu must be prepared for a rigidly controlled work with no mobile-camera shots. This style elegantly frames the delicate performances, which in turn do justice to the wisdom and compassion of Ozu's view of life."
‑ Edward Porter, Sunday Times (UK)
"This remains one of the most approachable and moving of all cinema's masterpieces."
‑ Wally Hammond, Time Out
"It ennobles the cinema. It says, yes, a movie can help us make small steps against our imperfections."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"With its debt to Leo McCarey's 'Make Way for Tomorrow,' Yasujiro Ozu's 'Tokyo Story' is no less true, shattering, and not for viewers fretting about unsympathetic grown-up children."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"These characters never surprise us with anything showy, lurid, or sensational. They're ordinary human beings, treated with fierce attention that feels like deep respect."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"Ostensibly a snapshot of postwar Japan in the midst of profound cultural change, it is the movie's painful depiction of familial disintegration that remains universal today."
‑ Kevin Maher, Times [UK]
"The way Ozu builds up emotional empathy for a sense of disappointment in its various characters is where his mastery lies."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Luminous in its freedom from the sentimentality or the satire that so often obscure an artist's vision of normal living."
‑ Roger Greenspun, New York Times
"In this exquisite merging of specific and universal, infinite and infinitesimal, Tokyo Story perhaps most clearly illuminates that Ozu is not the most Japanese of filmmakers, but the most human."
‑ Christian Blauvelt, Slant Magazine
"Ozu may have made subtler films, but the clarity of his social critique here is wrenching and unassailable."
‑ Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph
"This 1953 classic is one of the cinema's most profound and moving studies of married love, ageing and the relations between parents and children. It is flawless and rewards numerous viewings."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
More reviews for Tokyo Story (Tky monogatari) on Rotten Tomatoes