What is the importance of Tokyo in Ozu’s Tokyo Story? The disaffected kids of the Hirayama’s live there, but is the film suggesting it is Tokyo that has made them a pain in the arse? It is a suggestion that Hanif Kureshi filched in The Mother – the kids in that had been spoiled by London. But while The Mother uses this trope to spin a less than universal tale of cross generational betrayal and sex, Ozu does not need such narrative fireworks. It is a simple tale of parents visiting their children potentially for the last time. It is in part a morality play, a story about family and its underlying sweetness appeals to the good child in all of us. Surely none of us are as unfeeling as the younger Hirayama’s, trying to kick out parents out, sending them back home just after they have come to visit. Surely we are much more like the nice widowed daughter-in-law Noriko, treating her elders with friendship and respect.

Except our parents are our parents and we have all spent a lot of time with them already. What may seem a perfectly sweet elderly couple to outsiders could be monsters from our youth, tormenting our waking hours with sub-vocalised criticisms on every aspect of our lives. There are hints in Ozu’s film about this nice elderly couple not always being as perfect (but hey, what’s a bit of excessive drinking). It is far to easy to judge the kids: I like to think I am a good son, but lord knows what my parents really think of my occasional visits and phonecalls. Tokyo Story is probably hailed as a masterpiece for walking that line of mawkishness and sentimentality extremely well, but it is also a film that allows us to feel good about our own elder relations. Everyone in the cinema walks out thinking (hoping?) they are a Noriko.