22 May 2003 | kerpan
Another masterpiece by an unsung master
"Yama no oto" is, in essence, the story of the love between a daughter-in-law (Setsuko Hara) and the father (So Yamamura) of her neglectful and selfish husband (Ken Uehara). As Yamamura becomes more and more aware of the unhappiness of Hara, he takes ever more unconventional steps to try to rescue his son's marriage (for instance, approaching his son's mistress). Though the issues of infidelity, abortion and divorce swirl through this film, the tone is remarkably low-key and unmelodramatic. The cinematography here is similar to that found in Ozu's films of this period, though not so rigorous. The performances of Hara and Yamamura are superb. A very well-done and moving film by Japan's greatest neglected master.