Bill Murray top 10



In turn, the bond he forms with fellow hotel resident/lost soul Scarlett Johansson develops into what is simultaneously one of the most unlikely and most convincing unions to ever appear on the silver screen. One of the great affecting relationships, and one which leads to a cinematic denouement for the ages (it is, should you be in any doubt at this point, my favourite scene in all of cinema)

The key to the success of the film is its ability to capture the grand sprawl of life in microcosm. Following the couple's initial connection their discovery of each other proceeds with near Victorian caution and trepidation; it’s only when both acknowledge the non-negotiable constraints of time that they are gifted a moment of clarity. It’s a powerful message, but will they heed it? Will we?

With the last of the commercials recorded the story draws to a close with elliptical neatness; Murray in close-up, back in the limousine, only now heading for the airport, heading for home. You can sense a reluctance on his part to do so, and a sadness pervades, but there’s also a realization that for the first time since, who knows when, he feels alive.

This is a Tokyo story (surely not coincidental) like Ozu’s own masterpiece, that asks us to quietly consider the age that we live in, the choices we make, and the passing of time. But it does so tenderly and with humour, and is never bleak, and most importantly it reminds us that we have the power to change our circumstances, and that life can be beautiful.

This is knowledge that we’ve all learned at some point, and a knowledge that we all - at some point - lose sight of. There’s never a bad time to reacquaint yourself with it.