Late Chrysanthemums (1954)

Late Chrysanthemums (1954)

Released: 1954
Genre: Drama, Genre
Director: Mikio Naruse
Starring: Sadako Sawamura, Ken Uehara, Haruko Sugimura, ,
Run time: 101 min
IMDb: 7.4/10
Country: Japan
Views: 45255


What is the life of a Geisha like once her beauty has faded and she has retired? Kin has saved her money, and has become a wealthy money-lender, spending her days cold-heartedly collecting debts. Even her best friends, Tomi, Nobu, and Tamae, who were her fellow Geisha, are now indebted to her. For all of them, the glamor of their young lives has passed; Tomi and Tamae have children, but their children have disappointed them. Kin has two former lovers who still pursue her; one she wants to see, and the other she doesn’t. But even the one she remembers fondly, when he shows up, proves to be a disappointment.
Written by
George S. Davis <[email protected]>
User Reviews: This film is about aging Geisha in post war Tokyo. Okin, played by the incredible Haruko Sugimara, lends money to two other ex Geisha, Tamae (Chikako Hosokawa) and Otomi (Yuko Mochizuki) and they resent the way she is somewhat smug about it. Tamae has a son, Otomi a daughter, who during the film announce they’re leaving them while Okin, never a mother, gets visits from two men in her past who, it turns out, just want money from her. Its a compelling tale of what choices you make, what you do to get through life and who you’re responsible and beholden to. Haruko Sugimara has always been in my eyes one of the greatest character actresses ever from any country and she plays the mostly unyielding, less than compassionate Okin with an air of superiority that makes you not like her, but at the same time almost envy her. At a time when great films were made by Ozu, Mizoguchi, Kinoshita and Kurosawa, amongst others, Mr. Naruse is right up there with him. If you have a region free DVD player, you should attempt to find the two Naruse box sets released in England. I think this film was a great character study of women who are in danger of being irrelevant. That they are really not makes this film a veritable masterpiece.

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