Floating Clouds (aka Ukigumo 1955) might be director Mikio Naruse's masterpiece. It is another sad tale of desperation and sadness. It is essentially the story of a love affair between his regular muse Hideo Takamine as Yukiko Koda, a woman who joins a government office in Dalat, Vietnam during the war to escape an unpleasant experience with her brother-in-law. While there she meets and falls in love with the arrogant and married Keno Tomioka (Naruse regular Masayuki Mori). When the war ends and they are repatriated to Japan, Yukiko tries to rekindle their affair, but things are complicated as Tomioka feels guilty since his wife has kept the home fires burning and he is having trouble making ends meet. To Tomioka the Indochina affair was a dream or mirage and postwar Japan leavs no room for such fanciful ideas. She, while forced to become a mistress of a GI when she can't get a job, loves him and cannot give him up, even lending him money. However, reluctantly, he goes off with Yukiko on an onsen trip and suggests that they commit double suicide, but Yukiko refuses. Then Tomioka has an affair with the inn's younger wife. They return to Tokyo and Tomioka has taken up with the young newly wed as his wife is slowly dying of tuberculosis in the countryside and Yukiko finally tracks him down to let him know that she is pregnant by him. She aborts the baby and in poverty, she becomes a mistress the relative that raped her. But she embezzles money form him and follows Tomioka to Yakushima, where he has landed a job as a forester. During the journey she become sill and dies. The story is told in flashbacks and highlights naruse's editing skills and has several exotic locations for the film. The cinematography is well-done with several framing devices as usual. The exotic music adds to the sense of romance and mystery the lovers experience in Indochina.