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Good Morning Reviews

Reviewed By: Craig Butler

Good Morning is thoroughly enjoyable comedy that, somewhat atypically for director Yasujiro Ozu, is sunny throughout, without the darkness or sense of melancholy that rests under the surface of most of this gentle director's work. Also atypically, it is shot in rather startling color, rather than black-and-white, giving it a glossy visual sheen that is quite appropriate for the subject matter. Otherwise, Ozu's trademark visual look is untouched; Good Morning is filled with the same beautiful composed long shots, most often filmed from close to the ground, and edited sparingly. While there is a serious theme to Good Morning, involving the art and importance of communication and how different generations view it, its treatment is rather light and superficial. This makes for an undeniably charming film, but it also seems a little "safe" for Ozu, a film that in many ways would not have been unwelcome in Hollywood at the time. Still, the master director provides many wonderful touches, from the manner in which he creates and observes a very real and very specific community to the palpable affection he feels for his characters. The cast is perfectly in tune with the director, and the work of the children is especially impressive. While one wishes that the film were ultimately more substantial, it's still a wonderful light meal for cinema fans.