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- Late Autumn
- 128 min.
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Masterpiece. Funny and insightful dissection of generational barriers.
I always keep a box of tissues near when watching an Ozu film, but Late Autumn turned out to be a comedy... and it STILL got me. Well no surprise, Setsuko Hara never fails to break my heart, here as the widowed mother of a 24-year-old girl who refuses to get herself married despite the efforts of three old, meddling family friends. Mother and daughter (Yôko Tsukasa) are well matched in performance, making them a believable family unit, and Ozu revisits the clash between traditional and new Japan by telling a story of arranged marriages subverted by modern young women who are really deciding what happens. Monolithic establishing shots evoke not loneliness so much as autonomy. But while Ozu gets me weepy in the denouement, he also drew some laughs from me once I'd figured out the joke running through the film. It's a play on the title. This isn't late in autumn, it's an autumn that comes late, and similarly, the daughter is delaying her leaving home, her maturing if you will. The joke is that there are many restaurant and bar scenes in the film, and no matter what, the waiter or waitress has to apologize for making the patrons wait. Once I caught on and expected it to happen, it had me in stitches. Look, it's Ozu. Everything is understated, but somehow he gets emotions out of me.
It was very emotional to me at the end, but the beggining seemed longer than it should be. What mattered for me was the wrap up of the movie, it ended beautifully.
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In 3 official lists
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This movie ranks #16 in The Criterion Collection's Eclipse Series
This movie ranks #127 in Kinema Junpo's Top 200 Japanese Films
This movie ranks #260 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films: 1001-2000