Late Chrysanthemums

Late Chrysanthemums (Japanese: 晩菊, Bangiku) is a 1954 film directed by Mikio Naruse. During tough times after the war, four retired geisha find themselves in a constant struggle to make enough dough to pay the bills (a common theme in Naruse films; he too grew up in a family that had difficultly making ends meet).

I thought it was okay but not great. I got a bit tired of the constant haggling and asking for money and attempts to collect debts, but Haruko Sugimura was entertaining as a character not so different from the hardheaded selfish woman she played in Ozu's Tokyo Story (1953). The film also shows geisha in a new but harsh light, as these middle-aged women have come to the realization that the good ol' days are gone and that romance and kindness are of little to no import or use to them anymore.