Thanks to the script which invests the smallest scenes with dramatic significance, Tokyo Sonata enthrals audiences for the first hour with the pacing of a thriller.
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Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa switches gears from supernatural horror to poignant social satire.
For all its oddities, this movie does carry weight, and, with more than eight per cent of Americans out of work, the timing of its release here could not be more acute.
Though there's nothing here that hasn’t been dealt with in other Japanese movies, picture benefits considerably from its pitch-perfect performances.
With Tokyo Sonata, Kurosawa shows that he has quite the flair for dry humor and peppers this film with just the perfect amount.
Tokyo Sonata, looks like a family melodrama -- if a distinctly eccentric variant on the typical domestic affair -- there is more than a touch of horror to its story of a salaryman whose downsizing sets off a series of cataclysmic events.
As always, Kurosawa masterfully controls his film's framing and sound design, and as always, the painstakingly precise mise-en-scene can feel a little overdone at times.
A disconcerting melange, Tokyo Sonata begins rather conventionally before spinning into black comic, almost fantastical, terrain.
Although envisioned before the world economy went to hell, Tokyo Sonata is relevant to the mess we're in now.