"Another gem from the Ozu canon, a masterpiece of tendernesss and serio-comic charm, as tonally ambiguous and morally complex as anything he ever made. Three conceited middle-aged salarymen attend a memorial anniversary for a contemporary, and the experience appears to reawaken their feelings for his beautiful widow Akiko (Setsuko Hara). Meddlesome busybodies that they are, the men try to match-make for Akiko's unmarried daughter Ayako (Yôko Tsukasa), clearly as a pretext for the next stage of their operations, remarrying off Akiko herself – to the eligible widower among them – allegedly so that she will not be lonely on her own. They act as one, and Ozu shows how, tellingly, they are persistently unable to remember exactly who said and did what with regard to Akiko, either long ago in their youth, or right now. This dysfunctional tic shows their group mentality and the deep reluctance of each to assume individual responsibility for casually interfering with her happiness. The exquisite politeness and gentleness of the mother-daughter relationship is expressed in an eternal smile: and when the women drop their smiles at the movie's climax, that simple facial change is as startling as a gunshot. As ever, viewers must accustom themselves to Ozu's distinctive film-making manner. The direct sightlines-into-camera and low shooting angles make his style a kind of realist cine-kabuki. But this exerts an insistent power that works at the deepest emotional level. Within the reticence, there is something profound, and genuinely beautiful."