Ran (1985)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

France/Japan, 1985.  Greenwich Film Productions, Herald Ace, Nippon Herald Films.  Screenplay by Akira Kurosawa, , , based on the play King Lear by .  Cinematography by , , .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by Akira Kurosawa.  

Akira Kurosawa looks to Shakespeare once again for inspiration in this colour-saturated epic based on King Lear. An aging king (cinema legend ) offers his kingdom to his three sons in equal portions. Two of them are glad of the plan and take him up quite happily, while the third is pensive about the idea and thinks his father possibly mad. At first rejecting the third son, it isn’t long before the two eldest are warring with each other and the old man needs to take refuge with his youngest. Stunning, gorgeous photography meets up with exceptional acting and direction in one of Kurosawa’s greatest achievements, though the mellow pace and sometimes obscure plotting will make it feel like watching paint dry for some audience members.

The Criterion Collection:  #316

Academy Award:  Best Costume Design
Nominations: Best Director (Akira Kurosawa); Best Cinematography; Best Art Direction

Golden Globe Award Nomination:  Best Foreign Film

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