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      Sophie and the Rising Sun

      R Released Jan 27, 2017 1 hr. 56 min. Romance History Drama TRAILER for Sophie and the Rising Sun: Trailer 1 List
      69% 13 Reviews Tomatometer 61% 100+ Ratings Audience Score Sophie, a girl from small-town South Carolina, falls in love with a Japanese gardener in 1941. A wave of misguided patriotism and xenophobia sweeps their community after Pearl Harbor, leaving Sophie with no choice but to risk her life for love. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Jan 27 Buy Now

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      Sophie and the Rising Sun

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      Audience Reviews

      View All (14) audience reviews
      John C Subtle and nuanced. Very entertaining and thought provoking. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 08/05/23 Full Review Audience Member I don't like the nudity but otherwise I thought the story was wonderful especially when showing the hypocrisy of the Christians whom behave as terrible sinners and yet act like they are pious. I also like the reality of them ending in an internment camp in Canada. It was a good movie. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/18/23 Full Review Audience Member - Sophie and the Rising Sun is a sun that rises slowly. - It's rare to find something simple. Something quiet. I'm sick of movies where there is so much going on that it's confusing. I find that films often move too quickly for me to process what's happening, which annoys me immensely. It also annoys my partner, who's constantly having to say, in a weary tone, "We're watching the same movie. I don't know any better than you what's going on". Not Sophie and the Rising Sun. That sun was rising quite slowly indeed. To the point where I found myself reaching for my phone to distract myself. It's not that it was boring. It was just slow-paced, which I think I am (and probably we, as a society are) less and less used to. When I realized what I was doing, I put away my phone and decided to make an effort to chill out and let the movie engulf me... and it did. It drew me in with its meandering Southern Carolina creek. With the Southern American accents dripping with drawl. Only one thing happened at a time - like it did in 1941, when Sophie and the Rising Sun is set. Sophie Willis (Julianne Nicholson, Law and Order, August: Osage County) is fishing for crabs in Salty Creek, South Carolina, in her denim overalls and wide-brimmed hat. And then she is walking home with the crabs she has caught in her knapsack. And then she puts them out for sale in her backyard so the townsfolk can come by and take one and put money in the basket. And then she gets changed and starts painting. ... and so on. Everything felt like it was in such sharp focus. I was entranced. The turning point of the story comes when an injured Japanese man Grover Ohta, played by Takashi Yamaguchi (Letters from Iwo Jima, The 8th Samurai), is found by some locals on a bench in the middle of town. Of course, this is a huge event for the quiet town. Local authorities get involved, asking one of the women, Anne Morrison (Margo Martindale, The Hours, Million Dollar Baby) to take the mysterious, wounded man in, and nurse him back to health. Sophie is one of Anne's best friends, and spends a lot of time painting in Anne's idyllic garden, getting to know Grover over the course of his recovery. Grover is also a painter, and pretty soon Sophie and he are painting together regularly, and falling for each other. The only problem is - them being together would be scandalous even if it weren't for the war. Even though Grover was born in California, he is considered by locals a "colored", and an outcast. On the other hand, Sophie is a "well raised American Christian woman". When Pearl Harbor is bombed by the Japanese on December 7th, 1941, the already wary locals become hostile towards Grover. It also further increases the forbidden nature of their relationship. I won't give away any more. The racism towards the Japanese and African Americans was hard to swallow. I think that's part of what continued to captivate me. Examples of racism like this make me angry and restless. It's one thing to know that racism then and now exists, it's another thing entirely to see it play out in a story with very real characters. It connected me to Sophie, too, when I saw that even though her community had tried to shape her into a racist person, deep down she had none of that in her. Flashbacks showed her being scolded for playing with her best friend as a child: her best friend was black. It separated her from everyone else and made her so much more likable. The camerawork is gorgeous. Director, Maggie Greenwald (Songcatcher, The Ballad of Little Jo) creates slow-moving, focused close-ups of the rolling water in the creek that soothed me. Anne's garden, alight with colorful blooms, is captured in the lazy pan of the camera. The shots are detail oriented, catching the flick of a heron's foot as it flies away, and lingering, staying a moment longer on Sophie's face. Lighting up the tiny blonde hairs on her upper lip in the afternoon sun. The soundtrack, made up mostly of dulcet violin and other strings, gives the Sophie and the Rising Sun a sort of aching beauty that wouldn't be as strong without the music. It gives a kind of depth to the simplicity. My partner had a succinct and on point summary after watching with me (yes, he actually watched the whole thing with me!), "heartwarming and shocking at the same time, with small doses of tasteful humor in the mix". If you love action-packed, suspenseful, fast-paced movies, I wouldn't recommend Sophie and the Rising Sun. But if you're interested in a bit of quiet, aching beauty, then this for you. ---------- This review was first published on Narrative Muse,, and was written by Alana Bruce. Narrative Muse curates the best books and movies by and about women and non-binary folk on our website and our social media channels. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review Audience Member A great movie and very well acted. Love all the garden bits and the reasonably accurate Southern accents. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/31/23 Full Review Audience Member I really enjoyed this movie! I enjoyed getting to know the characters, the setting, their story. What a great way to spend an hour and a half. A gem of a film among a lot of asinine drivel found around! Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/20/23 Full Review Audience Member Really good. Makes you see the impossibility of the couple's lives. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/03/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Critics Reviews

      View All (13) Critics Reviews
      Leah Pickett Chicago Reader The premise... demands more heat and complexity than this hokey 2016 drama provides. Feb 9, 2017 Full Review Rex Reed Observer Warm, heartfelt but decidedly wan. Rated: 3/4 Feb 7, 2017 Full Review Jeannette Catsoulis New York Times The gently nostalgic mood and sleepy pacing effectively erase the movie's necessary edge. Feb 2, 2017 Full Review Ruth Maramis FlixChatter Film Blog A beautifully-acted love story during wartime that goes beyond romance. It's also a tale of friendship and overcoming the bigotry and racism of the time. Rated: 4/5 Feb 14, 2023 Full Review Lauren Bradshaw Fangirl Freakout The message of Sophie and the Rising Sun is incredibly timely. But despite fantastic performances from the cast and the beautiful message of acceptance, the film felt a little too safe and familiar. Rated: C+ Nov 5, 2021 Full Review Li Lai Mediaversity Reviews A wonderfully intersectional film, featuring love and friendship against the backdrop of WWII and the languid air of the South. Rated: B+ Dec 4, 2018 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Sophie, a girl from small-town South Carolina, falls in love with a Japanese gardener in 1941. A wave of misguided patriotism and xenophobia sweeps their community after Pearl Harbor, leaving Sophie with no choice but to risk her life for love.
      Maggie Greenwald
      Maggie Greenwald
      Monterey Media
      Production Co
      Sophie Film
      R (Some Sexuality and Nudity)
      Romance, History, Drama
      Original Language
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Jan 27, 2017, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Feb 21, 2017
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      Most Popular at Home Now