Early Spring ★★★★★

Early Spring is two films: one, it's a superb rumination on the disillusionment of corporate salaryman life; and two, it's Ozu's ultimate husband-wife marriage film. The main characters in this movie are tired people. They are tired because they have the same routine every day. They are tired because they are bored and overworked. They are tired because their only child died. This might be the most tired movie in the history of cinema, and that's why its length as Ozu's longest film seems justified. Would a man who cheats on his wife and leaves her and quits his job in 1 hour 30 minutes make for a great movie? Would a man who cheats on his wife and reconciles with her and keeps his job in 1 hour 30 minutes make for a great movie?

Probably not, which is why the exhaustive length here feels earned.

I will never forget the final scenes of this movie, when an old man drinking at a bar tells everyone how he worked for over thirty years to find out he's broke and life was just an empty dream; a handshake that means goodbye and Auld Lang Syne; and possibly the single most moving scene I've ever experienced-- a woman simply looks out the window and says "Ah. Come look at the train."

Late Spring. Early Summer. Tokyo Story. And ... Early Spring? Yes, this film ranks right alongside the Noriko Trilogy among Ozu's greatest achievements.

A masterpiece of world cinema.

Transcendent, life changing film experience.

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