Review: 'Cherry Blossoms'

( Unrated ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

Throughout this story of a German man's travels come small, rapturous moments.

If you have ever seen Yasujiro Ozu's masterpiece "Tokyo Story" – one of the greatest films ever made – you may respond to Doris Dörrie's "Cherry Blossoms," which is a kind of homage. It's about what happens to a German couple, Trudi (Hannelore Elsner) and Rudi (Elmar Wepper), when she dies and he decides to embark on a journey to Japan, where one of their sons resides. (This son, along with his siblings, has a tenuous relationship with Rudi.) Trudi, who was entranced by the mimelike art of Butoh dancing, had always dreamed of visiting Japan, and Rudi goes there during cherry blossom season. Dörrie is not remotely in Ozu's league, but throughout the film there are small, rapturous moments where the grieving Rudi, an emotionally closed-off man, opens up to the memory of his wife. Unrated. Grade: B+

Peter Rainer

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