Millennium Actress

2003 PG 1h 27m Blu-ray / DVD

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Millennium Actress

2003 PG 1h 27m Blu-ray / DVD
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Japan's great film studio is shutting down after a 70-year run, and a documentary filmmaker is commissioned to make a film about it. He selects the career of one of its biggest stars, Chiyoko Fujiwara, as his central subject. In this anime homage, the filmmaker follows Ms. Fujiwara, who has been living a Garbo-esque life of seclusion for the past 30 years, as she takes the audience through the history of her career and life.
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1
English, English SDH
Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1, English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen 1.85:1
English SDH, English
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 12+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 12+
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age 12+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this Japanese animation is no simplistic Speed Racer adventure but an intricate, surreal plotline that blends the make-believe of filmmaking with the "real" life of an actress. Kids may be confused by the multiple levels, shifting time-periods, and the ambiguous, bittersweet ending (which is a tenderly metaphorical death from old age). There is studio-set violence -- war, ninja fighting -- that overlaps with the real deal, but never graphically. The heroine considers killing herself with a knife (in a role). Talk of another character dying under government torture. Be prepared for Japanese language with subtitles, rather than English-dubbed editions.

Sexual Content

Nothing objectionable, despite a love-centric plot.


Battlefield rifle fire (including giant monster-attack mayhem) and flaming arrows. Swordfights with dead bodies. Some bloodshed, mostly impressionistic. A dead body (mostly covered) of a feudal hari-kari suicide is shown. Earthquakes cause damage.


"Damned" in the cursed sense.

Social Behavior

Though an overarching theme is the artifice (or reality) of moviemaking and the crossover of Chiyoko's ever-heartsick characters with her real life, the film's actual message is about the power of love -- or, in Chiyoko's case, love withheld, a hopeless girlhood crush that consumes a lifetime (maybe longer).


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

One (unsympathetic) character smokes a cigarette.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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