Japanese ensemble drama Flowers
brings together one of the most star-studded lead female cast in contemporary Japanese cinema: Nakama Yukie, Tanaka Rena, Takeuchi Yuko, Aoi Yu, Suzuki Kyoka, and Hirosue Ryoko. The idea for this project came when the six actresses were hired to be in a series of ads for a popular Japanese shampoo, sparking the idea to put all six actresses in a film that touts the ad's theme of showcasing Japanese beauties. The ads' creative director Onuki Takuya, one of the most respected advertising creative directors in Japan, serves as the production supervisor of the film. However, Flowers
is far from a shampoo advertisement, as the film, directed by Koizumi Nobuhiro (Midnight Sun
), is actually a generations-spanning ensemble film starring the six actresses as Japanese women of different eras facing problems that generations of Japanese women encountered through the last century. To convincingly convey the different eras, Koizumi brilliantly recreates the cinematic style of films from the respective periods, ranging from the black-and-white styles of Ozu Yasujiro to the polished colors of contemporary commercial films. With beautiful images and heartwarming stories, Flowers
is an elegant display of the best actresses Japanese cinema has to offer today.
Flowers open in 1936 with the story of Rin (Aoi Yu), an aspiring writer being forced by her overbearing father to marry someone she doesn't love. With little choice, she decides to run away from home. Meanwhile, Kaoru (Takeuchi Yuko) goes out on a day at the seaside with her loving husband in 1964, though the day means more to her than just another day out. In 1969, tough-as-nails Midori (Tanaka Rena) tries to make it in her publishing house job despite her misogynistic co-workers and a slow-working author, though she finds herself at the crossroads when a suitor asks for her hand in marriage. A few years later, Sato (Nakama Yukie) is a woman on the verge of making a life-and-death choice that will change her family forever. The consequences of her choice continues to be felt in 2009, when sisters Kana (Suzuki Kyoka) and Kei (Hirosue Ryoko) reunite at a family funeral.
Blu-ray Edition comes with interviews with the six lead actresses, as well as various promotional materials.