Café Lumiere
Café Lumiere (2004)

A freelance writer living in Tokyo defies social taboo by choosing life as a single mother in director Hou Hsiao-Hsien's meditative tribute to acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu. When Yoko announces that she is pregnant and has… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: October 16, 2004
DVD Release Date: December 27, 2005
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 95% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune

Both Hou and Ozu excel in evoking the poetry of everyday life, and, as a tribute from one great filmmaker to another, Cafe Lumiere should richly satisfy devotees of both artists.

J. Hoberman
Village Voice

Although pegged as an author of contemplative mood pieces, Hou's originality as a filmmaker has much to do with both his handling of historical material and his daringly counterintuitive narrative structures.

Amy Taubin
Film Comment Magazine

Some 40 years after Ozu's death, the traditions that govern middle-class Japanese family life - the crux of his films - are even more frayed.

Full review…
Ted Fry
Seattle Times

The film often takes on the hypnotic rhythm of a dream.

Full review…
A.O. Scott
New York Times

A fascinating curiosity, a chance to witness one major filmmaker paying tribute to another in the form of a rigorously minor film.

Jeffrey Overstreet
Looking Closer

Like Ozu's Tokyo Story, the film is mourning the passage of an era and a tradition, and more than a little dismayed at the direction things are heading.

Full review…
Jay Weissberg

Hou fans will find what they're looking for; others will wonder when the action starts.

Full review…
Michael E. Grost
Classic Film and Television

Remarkable visual trip through Japan.

Full review…
Jeffrey Chen
Window to the Movies

Rather than go the trivial route of aping Ozu's style and storytelling, [Hou] uses the techniques he's honed to create his own take on the state of Japan's ever increasing modernity.

Full review…
More reviews for Café Lumiere

Flixster Audience Score: 77% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalhães
Hou's moody tribute to Ozu is more revealing and significant from what is left unsaid as it shows a woman in transit (she spends a good part of the film on… More
Lesley N
Japanese drama, though drama is the wrong word for such a lackadaisical plot. Plot is the wrong word too. Way too subtle for me.
Luke Baldock
Subtitled 'an Homage to Yasujiro Ozu' and clear to see why. Hou creates beautifully composed shots and quiet reflective scenes which will be very… More
Dimitris Springer
Asano being a train-observer,now that's a fuckin' straightforward role!Apart from the constant references to the cinema of 30's,silent pictures… More
Walter M.
In "Cafe Lumiere," Yoko(Yo Hitito) spends much of her time between Taiwan where she is researching a famous composer and Tokyo where she hangs out… More
Krystle Chow
This is a movie that it's really hard to feel passionate about. Cafe Lumiere is undoubtedly moody in a tranquil sort of way, ambling along in an almost… More