Sachi is the long-suffering wife of popular novelist Otani in post-World War II Japan. Brilliant but self-destructive, Otani spends his days drinking, running up debts, and looking for inspiration with other women. A visit from Miyo and Kichizo, the owners of the tavern which Otani frequents, informs Sachi that her husband has run up a fortune in debts and has stolen money from them. To pay off the debt, Sachi becomes a waitress at the bar, where her beauty and warmth bring in new customers. While working at the bar, she meets a young laborer, Okada, who falls in love with her. Also on hand are Sachi's old boyfriend, Tsuji, and her husband's mistress, Akiko. Though increasingly empowered by her new independence, Sachi retains her allegiance to her husband.
Takako Matsu as Sachi
Tadanobu Asano as Otani
Shigeru Muroi as Miyo
Masatō Ibu as Kichizo
Ryōko Hirosue as Akiko
Satoshi Tsumabuki as Okada
Shinichi Tsutsumi as Tsuji
Villon's Wife is based on the 1947 semi-autographical short work of the same name by Osamu Dazai. The film premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival in September 2009, in New York in July 2010 and had its UK premiere in December 2010. It was released in Japan as a DVD in April 2010 and with English and Chinese subtitles in Hong Kong in a Region 3 format DVD in May 2010.
Awards and nominations
33rd Japan Academy Prize.
Won: Best Actress - Takako Matsu
Won: Best Art Direction - Yohei Taneda & Kyōko Yauchi
Nominated: Best Film
Nominated: Best Director - Kichitaro Negishi
Nominated: Best Screenplay - Yōzō Tanaka
Nominated: Best Actor - Tadanobu Asano
Nominated: Best Supporting Actress - Shigeru Muroi
Nominated: Best Editing - Akimasa Kawashima
Nominated: Best Cinematography - Takahide Shibanushi