Tuesday, August 03, 2010


"Departures" won the 2009 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Netflix alerted me to this film that I had overlooked. It's a gem.

There is wisdom, humor, love, loss, pain, and nostalgia that evolves in an understated way in this original and unusual story. Sure, there are a few points at which one could see some emotional manipulation or plot predictability but they do not diminish the power of the film in any way. They, in fact, are welcome breaks for reflection. Who would expect, on the surface, that a movie built around the Japanese ritual of preparing the dead for burial could be so compelling and universal in its message.

The settings and photography are exceptional as well.


Blogger Unknown said...

We recently watched Departures as part of our preparation for a trip to Japan. I couldn't agree more with John. And considerably shorter than the last Japanese movie we watched, The Human Condition, the 9-hour epic. (And I mean epic in a good way; what a fantastic movie.) Anyway, good pick!!!

4:47 PM  

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