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Early Summer

Early Summer

1951
Drama
2h 5m
In postwar Tokyo, this household is loving and serene: older parents, their 28-year-old daughter Noriko, their married son, his devoted wife, and two rascally sons. (imdb)
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Noriko trilogy
Your probable score
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Early Summer

1951
Drama
2h 5m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 76.38% from 559 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(559)
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Rated 01 Jan 2014
90
97th
Here the theme is change, and nearly everything said by nearly every character seems marked by an awareness of its inevitability, and its bittersweet duplicity. This filmmaker's ability to draw emotion from the smallest details is endlessly affecting, and mostly very delicate.
Rated 15 Aug 2018
97
99th
In Late Spring Noriko found herself a stringent idealist, a traditionalist, engaged in an impossible quest of self-denial until, eventually, she accepts loss. Here, she finds herself a modern woman. Where she was timid, she is now unabashed. Where she was bounded to her father, a patriach, she now is an individual, her family an afterthought. Speaking through contrasts to the first rendition of this story, Ozu shows, ever so subtly, something more real than the circumstances of a time and place.
Rated 12 May 2012
5
93rd
A domestic tale typical of Ozu, but one that strikes me harder than most others I've seen. The underlying theme of generational conflict is woven with the simplest and most universal poignancies: leaving the family home, nostalgia for time gone by, old friends going their separate ways, a humorously oblivious uncle, callous and insensitive children. What anyone else would exploit for melodrama, Ozu treats naturally with leisure and subtlety.
Rated 24 Sep 2008
98
98th
An absolutely stunning film, easily one of my favorite Ozu's. I love the way the situation is set up quietly and slowly. It's like the characters sneak their way into your heart, and without any big revelation or "important moment" you find yourself completely emotionally and mentally engaged in their circumstances.
Rated 10 Mar 2014
95
98th
This subtle tale of generational conflict and bonding is probably the one of Ozu's late films that is most just breathing with life - joyous, sad, repetitive, bittersweet - and its inevitable changing nature. Compared to 'Tokyo Story' the emotional perspective is less focused and more diffuse making it a bit more challenging to watch, but easily as rewarding.
Rated 22 Aug 2021
93
93rd
The final 40 or so minutes of this achieves and sustains an almost euphoric bittersweet beauty - a nostalgic longing for the present moment, anticipating its inevitable passing and the powerlessness we feel against it - punctuated by the transcendent final moments and shot. Possibly my favorite Ozu drama thus far.
Rated 07 Feb 2007
88
91st
One of my favorite Ozus. The characters and situations are very real. Setsuko Hara is insanely good in the lead role.
Rated 30 Mar 2008
86
84th
A touching portrait of love and family expectations in post war Japan. It moves along at a leisurely pace that allows us to take in the characters and their lives and gain a sense of why they do what they do. The direction is good as are the performances.
Rated 30 Jul 2009
85
75th
This simple story, about Ozu's favorite themes, kind of bored me at some moments. But there's so many beautiful imagery, that it's still a great movie. It could have been shorter, though.
Rated 08 Feb 2014
6
83rd
if there was one word i'd use to describe ozu, it would be familiar. i'm not sure why - the universality of the themes, the mostly pentatonic music - but his films just feel close despite my upbringing being not at all similar to that of traditionally familial japan. another word would be bittersweet, combining real, genuine emotions with inescapable emptiness. this one mostly focuses on marriage and the inevitability of changing relations that comes with it.
Rated 19 Mar 2014
57
19th
This one did not click for me. Everything that was touching, beautiful and memorable in Late Spring, is completely absent from this film. I found myself distantly uncaring of most of the members of this family, with the exception of Noriko. I never even briefly felt that these people were real. And I think it comes from the way that Ozu shoots his films, with the back and forth editing of character conversations, which makes the actors look like actors performing.
Rated 02 Aug 2016
84
82nd
a better version of late spring
Rated 17 Jan 2018
48
36th
Another low-key family drama from Ozu, though dialogue-heavy and leaving very little unsaid. Some idle chatter is scattered about, but mostly people talk about serious life decisions, never in any way that's at all surprising, exciting or particularly lifelike. Like everyone else, Noriko is entirely devoid of personality, so I found it hard to care about who she marries. There is a certain quaint aesthetic to Ozu's greyish monotony which prevents me from hating it, but nor do I like it.
Rated 02 Mar 2008
66
45th
# 689
Rated 19 Dec 2008
62
24th
754
Rated 15 Jan 2010
62
24th
754
Rated 03 Mar 2010
96
96th
This is typical Ozu--but typical Ozu is superb. As usual, the film explores the plight of an unmarried daughter, and how her choice of a mate challenges or conforms with family expectations. Setsuko Hara, at the height of her beauty, gives a superb performance, and she shares the film with Chishu Ryu, Ozu's sublest and most accomplished male star.
Rated 15 Sep 2010
45
42nd
More of the same.
Rated 09 Mar 2011
65
41st
Charming
Rated 13 Mar 2011
50
39th
Whilst not as compelling as "Tokyo Story", it's similarly heartwarming and a test of the viewer's endurance.
Rated 01 Dec 2011
66
32nd
#684
Rated 10 Sep 2012
8
92nd
Slow. subtle and profound.
Rated 02 Jul 2013
91
79th
Didn't like it as much as Tokyo Story, but it has many of the same elements of generational differences, nostalgia, the cycle of life.
Rated 23 Nov 2013
84
90th
Frances Noriko Ha: undateable, spends money buying cakes, has a loner bff -- together, they laugh at their married friends -- and is a good family girl. When her boss finds her a man, she says no -- as her mom says, it feels like "she was raised alone". The man she chooses is not the ideal one -- 40-yer-old with a daughter. She trusts him -- but is not in love. Resignation is a kind of happiness, as her parents reflect in the final shots. But it's better when you choose when to do so.
Rated 12 Jan 2015
90
80th
Ozu's films are easygoing, honest and real. His style has no frills, and though his compositions are clearly carefully thought out, his films seem to come from a place of pure simplicity. And, despite being rooted in Japanese culture, there's a universality to the way they capture the intricacies of human interaction. This is a film that's funny, sweet, melancholy and tragic - wonderfully like life itself.
Rated 31 Aug 2017
2
21st
too slow for me
Rated 07 Dec 2017
65
29th
"this household is loving and serene".. my ass. Time to get married darling, and it's not your decision to make!
Rated 28 Jan 2018
80
78th
Watching Ozu's films seems like peeking through the neighbors' windows.
Rated 27 Oct 2018
55
8th
There's plenty of classic Japanese arthouse cinema that I love but Ozu is just boring
Rated 28 Feb 2019
91
84th
91.00
Rated 01 Jun 2019
82
86th
Gêmeos.
Rated 14 Sep 2019
45
23rd
Not really my cup of tea. I find it hard to empathize with the characters, but that's mostly due to cultural differences of the time and place. Still, even when you break down the characters with their motivations its hard to wrap your mind around who wants what. Everybody is so focused on what someone else has to do to make them happy that no one is ever happy with what they've got. I recognize Ozu's power with the static shot, but this is just plain boring.
Rated 13 Jun 2020
88
84th
Semana em honra do centenário de Setsuko Hara filme #1. https://letterboxd.com/ladyspiggott/film/early-summer/
Rated 02 Oct 2020
62
42nd
My problem is that this follow up to Late Spring feels like a rough draft to its predecessor. All the themes of Late Spring are here, but where Late Spring was, for the most part, exquisitely understated, Early Summer expands. There's more characters exploring the same ideas of love, family, tradition, contemporary life and more runtime. It's like the reverse of an editing process -- taking Late Spring as the pure essence and putting back additional material.
Rated 28 Dec 2020
70
64th
Good but I feel like it's not necessary to see more than one or two Ozu films. Because they all feel like a remake of the same film/idea...
Rated 18 Nov 2021
83
86th
The movie describes the inevitable tension of postwar Japan between a society based on extended family and early feminism, where women get to decide for themselves, for good or bad. All of it done in an atmosphere of serene melancholy.
Rated 14 Dec 2022
78
66th
Another very good Ozu film. Hara plays another Noriko after her performance by a somewhat similar character of the same name in 1949's Late Spring. I liked this one a bit more than Late Spring, as I found it a bit less repetitive. It has the usual Ozu themes of familiar obligation, marriage for women who are getting a little up there in age (for the time). Another very solid entry from Ozu. Having seen the entire Noriko trilogy now, I think this is the second best after Tokyo Story.
Rated 30 Jul 2023
79
50th
My favourite Hara performance so far, extremely evocative. Really enjoyed the humour in this one, and the acceptance and grace everyone ends up giving Noriko. Characters in Ozu movies are literally constantly wiping their hands on their aprons.
Rated 29 Sep 2023
7
54th
It's hard not to compare this to Late Spring, with its similar setup and identical lead; Early Summer offers a slightly less focused but more dynamic tableau of family life in transition. As with the former, some truly stunning shots of domestic and pastoral beauty are on display here.
Rated 11 Nov 2023
60
89th
One of the films that's in highest regard. On lists and in peoples hearts. To me it was just a ordinary Yasujirô Ozu.
Rated 10 Dec 2023
86
82nd
90

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