Late Autumn was superb. I was also a bit surprised to see a slight undercurrent of homosexuality to the film, particularly with Ayako it seems that the 'betrayal' of Yukiko at becoming an accomplice in arranging a marriage (after Yukiko pledged she would hate it if Ayako marriage and it ended/harmed their friendship) was an important tipping point for her.
Also, having the mother being arranged into another marriage in order to compel the daughter to accept an arranged marriage seems even more effective than using the father in the same role in Late Spring. It sets up, imo, a much stronger and more powerful parallel between the two generations, and it seems to be a much more clearly damning indictment of the arranged marraige. Particularly powerful, to me, was that the mother--the older generation--that ultimately rejects the arrangement, breaks with tradition and asserts her independence. I think she says something along the lines of, "I don't want to go through with this again." The power of managing to escape the patriarchical mistreatment despite years of acquiesing to it was quite hopeful, imo, even though that hope is bitterly undercut by erasing the identity and independence of Ayako by dressing her up in such a traditional costume and makeup, transforming her from a person into a role--the wife.
I may even like this more than Late Spring, but I need to revisit that film first.
I do hope that Criterion releases a third Ozu eclipse set next spring, hopefully with four films.
there are not enough of his films available in region 1!