Twilight Samurai

This is a Chick Flick with just enough sword fighting and blood to satisfy action fans. The DVD for this wonderful film came out YEARS ago, but it remains a favorite of mine.

We follow a widower with two small girls who works for a wealthy feudal baron as an accountant in a warehouse. In addition to the little ones, he also cares for his elderly mother-in-law who obviously suffers from Alzheimer's. He makes cricket cages in the evenings to try to make ends meet. He has fallen a long ways from his earlier glory days as a master swordsman.

His time and energy are so exhausted that he is chastised by his coworkers for not bathing often enough, and his little ones need some help learning how to dress and manage their hair. All in all, he is in over his head. Then he is told he must leave his household to go fight for his master.

When he asks an old childhood friend for help with the family in his absence, the fellow enlists his sister, who has recently left her abusive husband and is in hiding. This trio had been inseparable when they were children and our hero shyly shows us that he still has feelings for his old chum. We can't help but hope that she returns his affection.

We watch her fix the little girls' hair and take over some of the household responsibilities while maintaining an appropriate distance from our hero.

We not only watch some effective swordplay, but we also get a peek into the human side of the protagonists. This is a poignant, beautifully realized love story with ample blood and guts. The time period for this film is set just before the entry of Western rifles from the United States: about 30 or 40 years before the post (US) Civil War era of Tom Cruise's film "The Last Samurai." The fellow who plays the hero in our film, plays the villain in Cruise's film. He's very, very good!

I'm not limiting my distribution to just the foreign film contingent of the JayFlix gang because it is such a great love story!