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The great actress and Ozu regular Setsuko Hara plays a mother gently trying to persuade her daughter to marry in this glowing portrait of family love and conflict—a reworking of Ozu’s 1949 masterpiece Late Spring.
In this world, people love to complicate the simplest matters. Things may appear complicated, but who knows, the essence of life may be unexpectedly simple. That's what I aimed to express. - Yasujirō Ozu
Is there anything better than Ozu in color? It does more justice to the seasons specified by the title, at least those in English. And watching a film called Late Autumn only feels appropriate for this time of the year in N. America.
The mood of the film however isn't entirely austere, though the film slowly but surely veers in that direction. It revisits the premise of Late Spring, one of Ozu's best known films. But instead of a father being concerned about a marriage-age daughter,…
The more Ozu films I watch the more I realize how different they actually are from one another in terms of content. Sure they contain a few recurring themes and motifs, but each film offers a unique set of relationships and values.
The main story recalls Late Spring, but here it is the mother who tries to get her daughter married, as opposed to the father. And there are many more prominent characters here, namely the three middle-aged friends of the deceased husband/father and the daughter's workplace friend who importance grows during the duration of the film.
What a remarkable cast! Setsuko Hara is sublime as always; no one could suggest a hidden sorrow better than her without being expressive.…
Coming to Ozu now feels like coming to an old friend. And seeing his actors and actresses, like seeing old friends. When I saw Chishu Ryu, I couldn't help it -- tears came. The final expression on Setsuko Hara's face is sublime. Quiet and tentative, it is such a fitting, triumphant look. It sends me all the way back to Chishu Ryu peeling his apple in Late Spring. I felt suddenly cast back. I remember how deeply I wept at that moment. How it has stuck with me for so long. The subtlest, quietest movement signalling the deepest, profoundest emotions. I think that is when I truly fell in love with Ozu. And so I unfold…
Lighthearted film with a brush of melancholia near the end. Simplistic in nature but filled with genuine emotions to the brim. How many hearts have the last scene touched? It doesn't matter, just make sure you'll include me into that list. If I were to rate films with greetings, then Akibiyori is a firm and respectful handshake with Ozu. I have a feeling that if I travel further down his filmography, a warm bear hug would be inevitable.
I'm feeling lazy, so here's my two word review:
The laughter of the old men as they discuss how much fun they had arranging (ineptly) a marriage rings coldly as they sit, all camaraderie, without any awareness of the hurt they've caused. As a portrait of the cracks in traditional structures, this film is a fitting mirror image to Late Spring. The film captures the masculine presumptiveness that drives the men to get involved in relationships they don't need to be involved with, and the feminine frustrations of a life without a man in a patriarchal society. While I think Ozu's compassion is evident, I believe his focus is broader than merely the divide between men and women; he is exploring tradition (as always) and its complex affect on…
Late Spring is one of my favorite films...this reworking is solid (it is an Ozu film) but I'm not sure it's as rewarding as just rewatching the original would've been. Swapping the gender of the parent figure really just makes the matchmakers feel a little sleezy.
Another Ozu-movie that had a spellbinding effect on me.
A really good drama from Yasujiro Ozu. While it can't even begin to compare to the movie it's based (the legendarily great Late Spring), it's still a good movie with a great Setsuko Hara performance and worth a watch.
For the sake of neatness this should perhaps have been Ozu and Hara’s final collaboration, as it is they had one more (The End of Summer) to come. It feels like things have come full circle. In the earlier Late Spring it’s Hara who is reluctant to marry for fear of leaving her widowed father alone. Here she plays the widow and it’s her daughter who, for the same reason, resists a suitable match. Such elliptical or connected scenarios are typical of Ozu. In this case the pronounced gender politics of the time mean we see things play out slightly differently, even if the end result is the same.
In Late Autumn, the prodigal daughter returns—as a mother. Setsuko Hara had been absent from Ozu since her against-type role in Tokyo Twilight three years and four films previously. That was the first time I saw the iconic actress following her recent death, although I didn’t know it at the time—it didn’t make the news until about a week ago, nearly three months after the fact. This isn’t completely inexplicable; it is the crucial fact of the Hara mystique that she retired from acting after Ozu’s death in 1963, withdrew to a small house in Kamakura, where many of their collaborations were shot and set, and simply vanished, living alone and refusing interviews and photographs for the remainder of her…
"In the 1949 film, Noriko finds herself in a more conservative position than in the 1951 picture, where she is concerned with her own independence—but a conflict is a conflict, and this is what interested Ozu. And it was just these conflicting emotions that Hara had learned to display faultlessly. So much so that Ozu’s films might well have been somewhat different without her. He himself said that he could no more write a script without knowing who was going to play a part than an artist could paint a picture without knowing what color to use. The subtle shades and radiant hues of Setsuko Hara not only fit but in a way contrived the characters that Ozu created."
- Donald Richie
Today's review of Yasujiro Ozu's Late Autumn is sponsored by my eternal love for the late Setsuko Hara; today brought a new level of sadness for all cinephiles across the world, for you, Setsuko. The legend, the star, the one and only. RIP your highness, or in Ozu terms, your eye-levelness.:
[Review omitted out of respect for the late Setsuko Hara]
RIP Setsuko Hara.
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