An Inn in Tokyo ★★½

Bonds of a father
Indulging imaginary meals.
Luck as a passing fancy
Neo-J-Realism?

Hard to explain my frustration here, which is not really disappointment as much as a lack of enthusiasm. This is part of my general feelings about Ozu, who still remains the master filmmaker who is really not for me (though there are some other films I’ll get to later that I do adore). I found this film generally pleasing for what is a story of people on the edge of poverty (those fields seem like a good way to pass the time), which maybe goes against its own narrative in that way. Having just seen Umberto D recently, I’m drawn to the images of the maid grinding coffee, which are utterly despairing. Because of Ozu’s cinematic method and choice of acting style, there’s not much of an emphasis on bleakness. Jake Savage mentioned that my note of “Neo-Realism” is not without merit: it was apparently advertised as such, which is of course a decade before the Italians would adopt it.