Reviews

Floating Weeds

4

An unexpectedly earthy offering from helmer Yasujiro Ozu, Floating Weeds is a 1959 remake of a silent film he directed back in 1934. (Like Chaplin, Ozu held out against sound long after most other filmmakers had embraced it.)

A washed-up travelling Kabuki troupe arrives in a small southern seaside town. Audiences are sparse, so what's the attraction of the place? Turns out it's where the lead player's one-time mistress lives - - along with her son, who thinks the old actor's his uncle. When the thesp's leading lady - and current squeeze - finds out, she's none too pleased and plans ingenious revenge...

Ozu negotiates the twists of his plot with consummate delicacy and quiet humour, sidestepping any risk of melodramatic overkill. He also revels in the subtle interplay between the actors - - in Ozu's hands, one look conveys more than a thousand words.

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