Emperor

Emperor

Peter Webber (2012)

101min
12 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Tommy Lee Jones stars as Douglas MacArthur, the victorious and imperious general in charge in Japan in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. It's MacArthur's tricky job to decide whether to have Japanese emperor Hirohito indicted for war crimes, bearing in mind Hirohito's godlike status in Japan, and the possibility of the huge civil unrest that might result from any indictment. MacArthur assigns the investigation of Hirohito's wartime culpability to a military subordinate (Matthew Fox, from TV's Lost), who's sensitive to Japanese sensibilities as a result of a pre-war tryst with a Japanese exchange student. Emperor is beautifully made and finely acted. It's maybe a little on the stodgy side, and the subplot about Fox's bid to find his lost love is just a spoonful of sugar to help the meaty military medicine go down. But, overall, it's a fascinating story, and one that's rarely if ever been seen on screen before. That alone makes it well worth the watch.

Summary

An American general involved in the occupation of Japan in the aftermath of the Second World War is given the task of deciding whether Emperor Hirohito should stand trial as a war criminal. His assignment is complicated by his search for his lost love, an exchange student he met in the US years previously. Fact-based drama, with Matthew Fox and Tommy Lee Jones.

Cast & Crew

Gen Bonner Fellers Matthew Fox
Gen Douglas MacArthur Tommy Lee Jones
Aya Shimada Eriko Hatsune
Emperor Hirohito Takataro Kataoka
Gen Kajima Toshiyuki Nishida
Takahashi Masayoshi Haneda
Mitsuko Kajima Kaori Momoi
Gen Richter Colin Moy
Director Peter Webber
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Other Information

Language: English, Japanese +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: The WorksGuidance: Violence, swearingAvailable on: DVDReleased on: 4 Oct 2013
Drama