Mike Kueber's Blog

September 9, 2012

Saturday Night at the Movies #44 – Tokyo Story

Filed under: Movie reviews — Mike Kueber @ 3:56 am

Tokyo Story is a 1953 Japanese classic that is on several lists of the all-time great movies.  It concerns an aging couple from a rural area who travel to Tokyo to visit a son, a daughter, and a daughter-in-law.  The problem is that the blood relatives have busy lives and have a hard time finding time for their parents.  By contrast, the daughter-in-law, although just as busy and not as well-to-do, not only finds time for her in-laws, but clearly enjoys that time.  The behavior of the blood relatives reminds me of Harry Chapin’s 1974 standard Cat’s in the Cradle:

  • I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
  • I called him up just the other day
  • I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind
  • He said, “I’d love to, Dad, if I can find the time
  • You see my new job’s a hassle and kids have the flu
  • But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad
  • It’s been sure nice talking to you”

Rotten Tomato critics give Tokyo Story a score of 100% (38 reviews) and it audience give it 93%.  I agree and give it three and a half stars out of four.  Although the characters are a bit lopsided (too good or too bad), the story is inspirational.


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