Millennium Actress (2001) - Animation, Drama, Fantasy

Hohum Score



A TV interviewer and his cameraman meet a former actress and travel through her memories and career.

IMDB: 7.9
Director: Satoshi Kon
Stars: Miyoko Shôji, Shôzô Îzuka
Length: 87 Minutes
PG Rating: PG
Reviews: 15 out of 66 found boring (22.72%)

One-line Reviews (36)

It's just a really clever way to do flashbacks that turn it from a boring trope into something unusual and occasionally fascinating.

I'm quite amazed at how a single theme (at least to me) managed to weave itself into a compelling story, and one which paid homage to the history of Japan, and to Japanese films.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

A uniquely told story, with a mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat, laughing, crying, and everything in between.

For now though, Millennium Actress is fascinating as a piece of reflective Japanese film history (particularly with Setsuko Hara - and yes, I believe I saw a ground-level Ozu shot during that one scene in the house that is the film scene within the film being made), absorbing in the direction and how Kon goes about the precision of moving through a consciousness, which is a MAJOR achievement to pull off as seamlessly as this is (one minor nitpick, the music at times is a little too cheap-synth sounding), and it hits one in the heart once it comes to the conclusion.

Interesting technique, but it can be a little confusing at times.

The story is involving and entertaining and the acting is excellent.

Like him, I felt mostly a mixture of boredom and frustration with the story.

Unfortunately the story becomes a bit tiring after a while and the `time jumping' from decade to decade becomes a bit confusing (one minute we are in Manchuria in the 1930's and then we're transported back in time to Feudal Japan with scarcely an explanation).

This made for a disjointed and rather exhausting ride!

She become a huge success, but she is always empty, never finding the man she loves.

But even without such knowledge, this is a thoroughly enjoyable piece of work.

Co-written & directed by Satoshi Kon (best known for Perfect Blue & Paprika), the film begins on a calm note but things gets more n more intense as plot progresses.

The overlapping surreal story telling leaves the movie disjointed and uninvolving.

As most Satoshi Kon films, it is confusing and a bit tedious at the start.

Kon sees life as a big romantic movie full of melodrama, humor, and longing and seems to be saying that while there is often confusion between who we really are and the shifting roles we play in life, what remains constant is our longing for love.

At times, the story becomes a bit too confusing.

The line between events of Chiyoko's real life and scenes from her films is blurred and the film is difficult to follow on first viewing.

The story reminded me of extremely annoying off-Broadway-type dramatic plays that I've seen in the past, where they attempt a trendy non-linear kalidescopic story-within-story narrative, which ends up mostly confusing and alienating the audience.

I was expecting so much and the film just seemed rather empty and not particularly compelling.

Using a remarkably original and engrossing form of storytelling the memories of the main character, Chiyoko Fujiwara, are portrayed through her films as her career, life, and memories, memories that may or may not be as they seem, blend into cornucopia of sights and story.

Some of the more direct cut-on-actions that the videographer commentates on, for instance, are awkward and almost funny (especially BECAUSE of the commentary), but things get intense near the end when her entire career and the subconscious reality behind them all converge into a single instance of emotion.

Vivid And Compelling .

The unpleasant little word Surrealism comes to mind -- it's unpleasant because it often evokes elitism, self-indulgence, and confusion.

visually appealing but rather empty .


Always at risk to slipping to 'cliché', Satoshi Kon managed to keep it original and engaging (except for that ending line, no one really needed that to be said).

It feels fast paced as the protagonist always chases after her mostly imaginary love.

Whilst the film's first hour may seem disjointed, shapeless and even dull, a powerful ending helps bring things into focus.

The first of his films I saw while going through his oeuvre was "Perfect Blue", which I found pretentious and clumsy when it dropped inner conflict in favour of being a slasher film.

The movie seamlessly integrates dramatic moments, with light humor and stunning visuals.

The storytelling method by Satoshi Kon, where he puts Genya and Ida into the depiction of Chiyoko's past and movies, is fascinating and undoubtedly effective.

Art and music is mind blowing, definitely one of the top notch films I would ever see.

interesting but confusing .

Following the celebrated actresses life is wonderful, albeit a bit hard to follow on the first viewing.

What resulted was a fascinating history of Japanese cinema in its most significant moments!