Set in a tidy Tokyo suburb in the 1950’s, Good Morning is director Yasujiro Ozu’s witty Technicolor reworking of his earlier silent film I Was Born, But...(1932). A clever and lighthearted glimpse into then-contemporary Japanese life in a close-knit neighborhood, Good Morning tells the story of two young brothers desperate for a television to call their own. Each day they make an after school pilgrimage, often at the expense of their English lessons, to get their daily dose of sumo wrestling from a neighbor’s TV, the only one in town. Each night, their dinner conversations inevitably turn into incessant pleas and temper tantrums, begging their parents to buy their own magic box. When their father refuses and orders them to be quiet, the boys take his command literally, refusing to speak to anyone at all. Their vow of silence soon leads to mischief, taking a toll not only on their family but the community as well.
Yasujiro Ozu is often thought of as the "most Japanese" of Japan’s great directors. From his debut in 1927 to his final film in 1962 he devoted himself to exploring the progress of a nation struggling to reconcile modern and traditional values, often exemplified in the relationships between generations. Though his work won appreciation relatively late in the West, his trademark style continues to influence directors around the world.
People ask me who my favorite directors are, and I mention Hitchcock, Scorsese, Fellini, Welles and Ozu. They nod, but there is a slight pause, and I know they are considering whether to ask me: 'Ozu?'
Old School Reviews
It's a film that works at multiple levels, and only artistic geniuses like Shakespeare have been able to pull off such a universal work that works with both down to earth people and with the upper levels of critical audiences equally... Good Morning certainly works as a tightly constructed comedy, but it contains deeper levels of enjoyment...
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