Decoupage has written 9 reviews for films rated ★★★★½ .

  • Mr. Thank You

    Mr. Thank You

    ★★★★½

    I've seen this movie many times, and it's a personal favorite. Michko Kuwano can sit behind me and drink booze whenever she wants.

  • Repast

    Repast

    ★★★★½

    Now this is the one Setsuko Hara - Mikio Naruse collaboration I really like. Setsuko's character Michiyo suffers and complains like all of Naruse's indulgent commiserations, but she actually has some fighting backbone and subversive spirit.

    One of Setsuko's finest performances.

  • A Hen in the Wind

    A Hen in the Wind

    ★★★★½

    Underrated Ozu with an incredible performance from Kinuyo Tanaka. Shuji Sano is good too, if you've seen his other movies then you know he has so much range.

    A Hen in the Wind is more violent than most Ozu but I kinda like that ... as a rarity. The outdoor shots of Kinuyo Tanaka carrying her baby home and talking with her friend on the grassy hillside are further developed into transcendent filmmaking in Late Spring and Early Summer, respectively.…

  • The Only Son

    The Only Son

    ★★★★½

    Ozu's penultimate pre-war film, and what we might consider his first mature work in the way we think of Ozu's best films. The Only Son was his ultimate Mother-Son picture and everything his pre-war filmography built towards. The silk worm girls walking down the street and the spinning looms at the beginning of the film are mesmerizing, the shot composition never disappoints (just look at the poster), and who can forget Choko Iida's pained expression during the last scene?

    One tier below his transcendent masterpieces, but still one of Ozu's "Great" films.

  • A Story of Floating Weeds

    A Story of Floating Weeds

    ★★★★½

    Ozu's other silent masterpiece (after I Was Born, But ...) and his first real work of art. The director had already acquired all of his filmmaking tools and reached the heights of Japanese cinema by the time he was 30 years old. For the first time, Ozu made a movie out in the countryside, revisiting his childhood after the death of his father that same year.

    Takeshi Sakamoto, Choko Iida, and Emiko Yagumo give convincing performances, sometimes considered superior to the 1959 remake.

  • Dragnet Girl

    Dragnet Girl

    ★★★★½

    Dragnet Girl marks the full maturation of Ozu's signature visual style, except with far more flashy and stylish camerawork in this proto-noir. The editing feels so modern, and there has never been a more ingenuous shot than seeing the city pass by on the back of a car's headlamp.

    The women save the middle of this otherwise messy "apartment film", young Kinuyo Tanaka and Joji Oka give off such cool vibes-- but it's the last 20-25 minutes of Dragnet Girl that are so sublime they yield the first real transcendent Ozu experience.

  • I Was Born, But...

    I Was Born, But...

    ★★★★½

    The first of Ozu's two silent masterpieces, and one of the greatest silent movies ever made. I Was Born, But ... picks up where Tokyo Chorus left off, Ozu's newfound voice for shomin-geki or "home drama" realized, except the narrative follows the eyes of the children (instead of the parents). Ironically, this results in a much more mature film, since the two boys achieve self-awareness and the father reflects on his life, rather than the family just trying to survive…

  • 2046

    2046

    ★★★★½

    Chow Mo-wan remains forever in love with a woman from his past, Maggie Cheung's character from 𝐼𝑛 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑀𝑜𝑜𝑑 𝐹𝑜𝑟 𝐿𝑜𝑣𝑒, but since he can't have her, he doesn't know how to finish the rest of his story.

    Collateral damage:
    Zhang Ziyi
    Carina Lau
    Gong Li
    Himself

    Saved:
    Faye Wong

    It's a beautiful, messy, haunting, unfinished stab-in-the-heart kind of film for anyone unfortunate enough to not wind up with his or her true love in life.

  • I Was Born, But...

    I Was Born, But...

    ★★★★½

    Genuinely funny and memorable film. The child actors, Hideo Sugawara and Tokkankozô, are absolute deadpans and nail their parts. This was also Tatsuo Saito's best role.

    The little mock death and resurrection ritual makes me smile or laugh every time.

    Probably the one thing I should talk about most is the emergence of Ozu's spacial style and patterning with this film. There's but a glimmer of it present in Tokyo Chorus, but here the patterning really emerges in full form.…