Tattered Wings

遠い雲 / Distant Clouds
Kinoshita Keisuke | 1955 | ★★★★
A young widow (Takamine Hideko), made world weary by her abusive, neglectful husband, finds herself at the centre of a minor scandal when she is seen walking out with her intense, no-nonsense childhood sweetheart (Tamura Takahiro), who is in town staying with family, and soon has to choose between beginning a new life with him in Tokyo and settling down with her kindly brother-in-law (Sada Keiji), in Kinoshita’s gorgeously crafted melodrama. Though some of the plotting feels more than a little contrived, the fine performances, exquisite photography, and masterful framing more than make up for it.