Satoshi Kon once again fully utilizes the medium of animation to push storytelling in film to new levels of effectiveness. Countless films tell stories through flashback, but in Millennium Actress the visionary director affirms storytelling as the principle importance of filmmaking with its very structure.
The film is of an enthusiastic documentarian interviewing a now very old celebrity actress, delving into her past motivations and experiences. Their session blooms into a captivating narrative, blending elements of her life with roles in some of her films, and exploring her great search for love. An examination of the personal challenges and self-realization that one undergoes through the different stages of life, Kon, as usual, is not shy of being epic in scale, passing seamlessly through fictional eras and time periods, superimposing characters, persons and life teachings throughout. The result is an astoundingly refreshing and unforgettable experience, but one that, to me, felt somewhat emotionally distant.