The Only Son

Director: Yasujir┼Ź Ozu
Year Released: 1936
Rating: 3.0

A worker at a silk mill does her best to scrimp and save to send her only child to middle school, but when she visits him and his family in Tokyo many years later, she finds he's struggling to make ends meet (even going so far as to borrow money from colleagues to 'take Mom out on the town'). The storyline is prescient - even today in 21st century America, good schooling doesn't necessarily equate to well paying jobs, and shame in the son at not being able to live up to his mother's expectations is evident. Ozu's aesthetic is, once again, a tad distancing, and much of this is obvious, but at least it has the decency to end on a (relatively) positive note, with the son deciding to further his education and the mother impressed with her son's capacity to care for an ailing neighborhood child. Also, in the "I'm About to Pass Out From Shock" category: Ozu, in this picture, puts his camera on a car. You read that right: on a vehicle. And that vehicle ... is moving. Purists: avert your gaze.