The Makioka Sisters (film)
|The Makioka Sisters|
|Directed by||Kon Ichikawa|
|Based on||The Makioka Sisters (novel)
by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki
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- Keiko Kishi - Tsuruko Makioka: The eldest Makioka sister is described as being phlegmatic, and most of her voice throughout the novel is heard through letters she sends to her sisters. Tsuruko lives in the "main" Makioka house in Osaka, and is not only removed physically from her sisters, who live in a branch house in Ashiya, but also seems to be removed emotionally.
- Yoshiko Sakuma - Sachiko Makioka: The second eldest Makioka sister who is the mistress of the branch house in Ashiya. Sachiko is good-tempered and indulgent of her younger sisters, who live with her instead of, as tradition would have it, with Tsuruko.
- Sayuri Yoshinaga - Yukiko Makioka: Melancholy Yukiko is still unmarried at 30, because, when the Makioka family was in its heyday, all of her marriage proposals were turned down as not being good enough. Now, with the family in decline, marriage opportunities are much more scarce, and Yukiko's stoicity and shyness do nothing to incite her suitors' attentions. So shy that she cannot even speak on the telephone, Yukiko is sometimes frustrating, but ultimately loved by her sisters.
- Yuko Kotegawa - Taeko Makioka: The youngest Makioka sister embraces both Western clothing style and Western attitudes toward the world more than any of her sisters. Taeko smokes, has affairs and willfully defies the orders of the main Osaka house. This is mostly because she is impatient waiting for Yukiko to marry, which she must do before Taeko is allowed. Taeko is called "Koi san" endearingly, by her two older sisters in Ashiya. Calling the youngest sister "Koi san" is something commonly practiced in Osaka.
- Juzo Itami - Tatsuo Makioka: Tsuruko's husband, who took the Makioka name when he married her, and is now the master of the Makiokas. The three Ashiya sisters find Tatsuo abrasive, and somewhat dull. Tatsuo is employed at a bank.
- Koji Ishizaka - Teinosuke Makioka: Sachiko's husband who also took on the Makioka name. Teinosuke is kind, respectful of the sisters and brilliantly smart, especially when it comes to literary arts, such as poetry and letter-writing. Teinosuke is an accountant.
- Kobeicho Katsura - Okubata: Also called "Kei-boy" by the Ashiya sisters, is one of Taeko's suitors with whom she tried, and failed, to elope ten years before the story's beginning.
- Itokku Kishibe - Itakura: A photographer friend of Taeko's, a stranger to the Makioka family, to whom Taeko is attracted.
- Mika Wakabayashi - Etsuko: Sachiko's school-aged daughter, who is especially fond of Yukiko.
- Yukari Uehara - O-Haru: A maid at the Ashiya house. Sachiko took O-Haru under her wing and tries to teach the gossipy maid manners and decorum.
- Michiyo Yokoyama - Mrs. Itani: The owner of a beauty salon that the three younger sisters frequent. Mrs. Itani's gossip and love of matchmaking often help the sisters find prospects for a husband for Yukiko.
In February 1985, Vincent Canby called it a "a lovely though not always easy to follow adaptation" of the novel and said "I can't be sure that the English subtitles catch what I assume to be the satiric edge to the dialogue in what is a rather sad comedy of manners. What is clear, though, is Mr. Ichikawa's cinematic equivalent of a literary style, in which characters are sometimes isolated in extended close-ups that have the effect—if not the substance—of internal monologues or of author's comments. The Makioka Sisters, though always beautiful to look at, is more stately than emotionally or intellectually involving."
When it was screened as part of a TIFF 2013 retrospective, Scott A. Gray of Exclaim! gave the film (6 stars out of 10), saying: "Overall, it's a beautiful, well-acted work packed with gorgeous art design, but one that falls prey to the occasional indulgence—bloated scenes, garish synthesizer music—that detracts from the film's impact".