Yasujiro OzuJapan134 minutes1953B&WJapanese
"One of the manifest miracles of the cinema" (The New Yorker), Tokyo Story — which was voted the greatest film of all time in the directors' selection of the 2012 Sight & Sound poll — should be seen by everyone at least once, if not once a year. An elderly couple journeys to Tokyo to visit their children, and are confronted by their offspring's indifference, ingratitude, and self-absorption. The traditional tatami-and-tea domesticity fairly crackles with vexation and discontent; only the couple's placid daughter-in-law (Setsuko Hara, summoning up a life of disappointment in her serene smile) shows any kindness to the old people. When they are packed off to a resort by their impatient children, the film deepens into an unbearably moving meditation on mortality. "One of the greatest of all Japanese motion pictures. Ozu's style, now completely refined, utterly economical, creates a film which is unforgettable because it is so right, so true, and because it demands so much from an audience" (Donald Richie).