Sophie and the Rising Sun
Directed by Maggie Greenwald
In a small Southern town in the autumn of 1941, Sophie’s lonely life is transformed when an Asian man arrives under mysterious circumstances. Their love affair becomes the lightning rod for long-buried conflicts that erupt in bigotry and violence with the outbreak of World War ll.
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★★★½ review by MaryAnn on Letterboxd
Beautiful cinematography and lovely story, but I could have used more development of the love story.
★★★★ review by alexandra on Letterboxd
it's sweet and is very beautifully shot, i liked it but i felt like it could have been more.
★★★½ review by Aimee on Letterboxd
I agree with other reviews for this movie that say that its pretty and charming, but ultimately not a great film. But I also really appreciate that a movie exists about racism against the Japanese in the 40's. I'm not aware of any others that deal with this topic. I wish this movie was better tbh.
None of the characters are fleshed out very well. They're given backgrounds and hobbies but I didn't connect to them as characters. Especially Sophie and Grover, which obviously is a problem lol. I didn't really understand Ruth's character. I know they needed a villain, and she filled that role, but I think the movie was trying to make more of a statement via her character, and I'm not really sure what it was trying to say?
That being said, I appreciated how the movie showed how ignorant people were about Japan, and how they got all of their information from propaganda that painted the Japanese as barbarians. I like that it addressed the hypocrisy of America by how it showed Anne crying about Jews in Germany being treated as less than human, and then turning around and calling the Japanese evil. The last shot zooming out from Sophie and Grover to show them in an internment camp was really powerful.
The cinematography was nice. I really loved the scenes when Sophie goes out to go crabbing on the river, or when she and Grover go out to paint. I also loved the score.
Anyway, its worth watching. Just don't expect a masterpiece.
★★★★ review by J. on Letterboxd
What a beautiful movie - the performances are so nuanced and subtle and the plot shows that it is indeed possible to make a film set in the 1940s that's feminist and intersectional, with a focus on mix-raced romance and friendship.
★★★½ review by Maddie on Letterboxd
The cinematography alone deserves nearly 5 stars. The acting was not as strong as you would hope. I wish this would have gone further in the realm of life for the American-Japanese people. The film is still quietly beautiful and moving.
We need more of Julianne Nicholson in film.
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