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Millennium Actress(千年女優)

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Japan · 2002
Rated PG · 1h 27m
Director Satoshi Kon
Starring Miyoko Shoji, Mami Koyama, Fumiko Orikasa, Shozo Iizuka
Genre Animation, Drama, Romance

After the prestigious Ginei Film Studio shuts down, filmmaker Genya Tachibana tracks down its most famous actress, Chiyoko Fujiwara, for a documentary about her life. Now elderly and reclusive, the legendary star who mysteriously retired at the height of her fame is ready to share long-held secrets.

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What are people saying?

Inna Hanson Profile picture for Inna Hanson

Just as weird and wonderfully convoluted as Kon’s “Paprika,” yet more cohesive and emotionally mature. It makes a beautiful tribute to the legend Setsuko Hara, and a bittersweet commentary on love, memory, and the paths we choose.

What are critics saying?


Village Voice by

Flashbacks integrate with scenes from her films, and it becomes difficult to discern between the two -- cinema is equated with memory. Unfortunately, the trippy disorientation ultimately devolves into outright confusion.


The New York Times by Dana Stevens

To watch Millennium Actress is to witness one cinematic medium celebrating another, an expression of movie love that is wonderfully eccentric and deeply affecting.


L.A. Weekly by David Chute

Satoshi innovates not by pushing off into more extreme realms of adolescent fantasy, but by using all the resources of animation to tell complex dramatic stories, resources that in his hands seem almost limitless.


The A.V. Club by Tasha Robinson

Animated in much the same style as "Perfect Blue," but with greater depth and a more elaborate sense of playfulness, Millennium Actress is a visual feast, but also a mental gymnastics routine.


Boston Globe by Wesley Morris

The movie's narrative can be taxingly ornate, but there's something beautiful about its metaphorical conflation of politics and glamour, the real and the fictional.

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