Early Summer

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Time Out says

Another of Ozu's poignant dramas concerning the marrying off of an 'old maid' daughter (Setsuko Hara, superb as ever), though here (unlike in Late Spring and An Autumn Afternoon) she's subjected to pressure from the whole family, not just a widowed father. That's about it plot-wise. Typically, Ozu seems more interested in the texture of family life in the immediate postwar years (with Western influences affecting a woman's right to choose), in the opportunities for gentle comedy (particularly involving a couple of kids), and in the film's formal qualities. The camera is surprisingly mobile at times, but what really impresses is the use of omission and repetition. Intriguingly, we're kept in the dark as to what Hara is missing out on, while a simple shot of the sky, devoid of a balloon seen earlier, speaks volumes about loss, tolerance and resignation.
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Release details

UK release:

1951

Duration:

125 mins

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