User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 1 out of 16

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  1. ChadS.
    Oct 11, 2003
    8
    Not since "The Purple Rose of Cairo" has "movie love" been explicated with such dazzling results. "Millennium Actress" is a busy film, sometimes so excessively, it leads to discomfort because it doesn't adhere to any rules. A key, the actress' memento of an unrequited love, appears in her own life, and in her work. Distinguishing the two can be taxing, if you let it. Not since "The Purple Rose of Cairo" has "movie love" been explicated with such dazzling results. "Millennium Actress" is a busy film, sometimes so excessively, it leads to discomfort because it doesn't adhere to any rules. A key, the actress' memento of an unrequited love, appears in her own life, and in her work. Distinguishing the two can be taxing, if you let it. There's a little of "Mullholland Drive" here, and arguably, "Millennium Actress" might be the first interesting David Lynch knockoff, with emotional resonance to boot. Not so much towards the reclusive actress' angst, but the projection of our own movie star crushes upon the documentarian, who inserts himself in the old films, usurping a role and stealing lines. For an American audience raised on contemporary Disney(who's idea of innovation is "Lilo and Stitch") and cheap TV animation slaughterhouses like Filmation and Hanna-Barbera, the storytelling ambition of this "cartoon" astonishes. Expand
  2. Riren
    Feb 2, 2007
    9
    Millennium Actress is lost on all cultures outside of Japan's. It's deep and meaningful tapestry of Asian film history is beautiful, but also outside the frame of reference for all but the most informed foreign movie goers. That said, its sentimentality and original execution are inspiring. There may be no tribute to American film that rivals what this does for its homeland. And Millennium Actress is lost on all cultures outside of Japan's. It's deep and meaningful tapestry of Asian film history is beautiful, but also outside the frame of reference for all but the most informed foreign movie goers. That said, its sentimentality and original execution are inspiring. There may be no tribute to American film that rivals what this does for its homeland. And despite its language barrier, despite the culture barrier, despite it being animated, it will touch you. It's fairly easy to tell when the "real world" and "film world" change off, except when it's intentional. I can't imagine anyone who couldn't understand that part of the movie, and hope to goodness I never become such a person. This one goes down as not just one of the greatest animated drama, not just one of the greatest anime, but truly as a great film. Expand
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    50
    Contains some brilliant invention between duller stretches.
  2. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    40
    Flashbacks integrate with scenes from her films, and it becomes difficult to discern between the two -- cinema is equated with memory. Unfortunately, the trippy disorientation ultimately devolves into outright confusion.
  3. 70
    Animated in much the same style as "Perfect Blue," but with greater depth and a more elaborate sense of playfulness, Millennium Actress is a visual feast, but also a mental gymnastics routine.