Part of The Sight and Sound Top 10 (#4)
A profoundly stirring evocation of elemental humanity and universal heartbreak, TOKYO STORY is the crowning achievement of the unparalleled Yasujirô Ozu. The film, which follows an aging couple’s journey to visit their grown children in bustling postwar Tokyo, surveys the rich and complex world of family life with the director’s customary delicacy and incisive perspective on social mores. Featuring lovely performances from Ozu regulars Chishû Ryû and Setsuko Hara, TOKYO STORY plumbs and deepens the director’s recurring theme of generational conflict — creating what is without question one of cinema’s mightiest masterpieces.
“In this exquisite merging of specific and universal, infinite and infinitesimal, TOKYO STORY perhaps most clearly illuminates that Ozu is not the most Japanese of filmmakers, but the most human.” ––Christian Blauvelt, Slant “Ozu's long shots, knee-high camera placement, and collapsed perspective — as gorgeous and unsettling as a Cézanne — gather power over the duration, but time itself is the master's most potent weapon.” ––Eric Hynes, Village Voice “...One of the greatest films of all time… It ennobles the cinema. It says, yes, a movie can help us make small steps against our imperfections.” ––Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times