1949 / 108m - Japan
Late Spring poster


July 29, 2020


One of the better Ozu films I've seen so far. I admit I'm not very far in the man's oeuvre yet, but his more famous films haven't been big hits with me so far. Late Spring gives me some hope for the rest of his work. It's not the ultimate classic I've been looking for, but at least I had a decent time with this one.

The drama is a bit outdated though, the titular Late Spring referring to the looming expiration date of Noriko, a young girl who is in the prime of her life, but doesn't have any tangible marriage prospects just yet. In between the lines there are some nice reflections on marriage, family and the need to break out of comfort zones, so at least there were some relatable elements there.

Chishû Ryû's performance is strong, Setsuko Hara is charming but her facial expressions feel a little contorted, which makes for some awkward moments. Ozu's visual style is stark, precise and calming, the soundtrack on the other hand feels a little bland and random, with some rather poor choices early on. While slow and quite uneventful, it never felt like the film dragged or lost my interest. But it didn't feel all that relevant anymore either. Even so, a decent watch.