Director's Choice: Late Spring

One of the most powerful of Yasujiro Ozu's family portraits, Late Spring (Banshun) tells the story of a widowed father who feels compelled to marry off his beloved only daughter. Eminent Ozu players Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara command this poignant tale of love and loss in postwar Japan, which remains as potent today as ever — and a strong justification for its maker's inclusion in the pantheon of cinema's greatest directors.

Late Spring began a cycle of Ozu films about families; the seasons in the title refer to the times in the lives of the characters, as in his final film, "An Autumn Afternoon" (1962).

“Each shot in Late Spring is striking on its own; the mature Yasujiro Ozu belongs to that rare category of filmmakers whose work can be recognized from a single frame.”--AV Club