The Flavor Of Green Tea Over Rice (1952) directed by Yasujiro Ozu seems like an unusual film to me in that I have mostly seen the late Ozu pictures. Thus, perhaps, like Donald RIchie I have come ot expect a certain style in his films. This films has unusual stylistic shots from inside a cab at the beginning of the film and there are several times when Ozu uses a tracking shot or moves in for a close up that almost seems disruptive given how little the camera moves in his latter films. David Bordwell in Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema points out that Ozu would never again use such flagrant camera movements, but it is characteristic that they were subject to a rigorous semi-abstract organization. Ihave to admit to enjoying those falgarant camera movements-they are more interesting to me than the static camera of late Ozu. After seeing so many of Mikio Naruse's films, a contemporary of Ozu's, it may lie in the fact that over time both directors stopped experimenting as much and settled in with a style that was more static and focused more on the story and acting, rather than stylistic effects of the camera. I can't help but think of Naruse when thinking about the story of this film as well. The story is very similar to Naruse's 1951 triumph with Setsu Hara, Repast aka Meishi (rice!), which is also about a childless couple's marital struggles when the dull, ineffectual husband is finally valued at the end of the film. The couple is younger and poorer in Naruse's films. I found it hard to have sympathy for the Hara character, but it is even harder to have sympathy for Taeko (Michio Kogure) who is upper middle class with a maid to cook and clean and no children-spoiled from a privileged background. She looks down on the earthy, simple unpretentious, but successful business man Mokichi (Shin Saburi), who provides this lavish lifestyle for her which she takes completely for granted. Bordwell focuses on a scene where Taeko is thinking in a train, which he attributes to William Wyler and John Ford's influence on Ozu. In the end, the wife sees the folly of her ways and the future seesm bright even for the unmarried niece, Setsuko (Keiko Tsushima) who was wary of marriage after seeing Mokichi and Taeko's marriage up close.