Voted one of the ten Greatest Films of All Time in the 2022 Sight & Sound Directors’ Poll
Chishu Ryu, Chieko Higashiyama, Setsuko Hara, So Yamamura,
Tokyo Story is about the gap between generations in a Japanese family. It tells a simple, sad story of an elderly couple who travels to Tokyo to visit their two married children, only to find themselves politely ushered off to a hot springs resort. There the mother dies, leaving only their widowed daughter-in-law to care about the father. “From this simple anecdote unfolds one of the greatest of all Japanese motion pictures. [Yasujiro] Ozu’s style, now completely refined, utterly economical, creates a film that is unforgettable because it is so right, so true, and also because it demands so much from its audience. Evasions of any sort are rare in an Ozu picture, but here there are none at all. Two generations, a simple story that allows all the characters to change places, a pervading delineation of high summer, and the deceptive simplicity of the film’s style—all these combine to create a picture so Japanese and at the same time so personal, and hence so universal in its appeal, that it becomes a masterpiece” (Donald Richie). “One of the manifest miracles of the cinema” (New Yorker).