Mr. Ron Reed just posted a review of Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru on Filmwell, and as always, it’s a doozy:
Akira Kurosawa’s epic Samurai films are among the greatest movies ever made. But it is a quiet, intimate story about a very different sort of hero, a mid-level bureaucrat confronted with the futility of his own life, that may be the director’s masterpiece. Certainly it’s one of his most spiritual films.
Ikiru is the story of Mr Watanabe, the paper-shifting Section Chief of the municipal Public Affairs Department. For decades he has hoarded his money, his time and his affections until, with only months left to live, he discovers he no longer knows how to spend them. Played with wrenching vulnerability by Takashi Shimura, this may be the definitive portrait of a man who, examining his life, discovers that it may not be worth living.
My own review of Ikiru can be found here.