Onna is a pretty simple and effective film. It’s hard to find information about it so this will be a short review, just like the film. I’ve been seeking out Japanese films through the Criterion Channel app and I chose Onna because Connor and I were sort of living in 1948 for a bit there when we covered Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet on our Oscar Sunday podcast. We watched the Best Picture nominees (Hamlet, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Red Shoes, Johnny Belinda, and The Snake Pit) and I just wanted more perspective from the year, which is what I got out of Keisuke Kinoshita’s Onna.
Mitsuko Mito plays Toshiko, a young girl who works at a dance hall as a singer while Eitarô Ozawa plays her boyfriend, Tadashi. Tadashi has clearly been involved in some criminal acts and Toshiko is fed up. As the film moves, Kinoshita’s directing gets better. Toshiko keeps trying to pry herself from the hands of Tadashi with a poignant finale that left me pretty flabbergasted. If you like exploring Japanese cinema, then Onna is a short and solid one to go for.