I never considered discussing movies on this blog, but I just finished one and had to tell someone about it.

Departures is a Japanese film by director Yojiro Takita. It won Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, as well as several Japan Academy Prize Awards (Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Sound, Best Editing, and Best Lighting).

More importantly it is one of the most moving films I’ve seen in quite some time.  It is imbued with humor, love and celebration of life.  Ironically it is about death.  In short it is about a cellist whose symphony is disbanded.  Needing to find a job, her returns to his hometown and makes a most unusual career change.  Having won an Academy Award, it should be available all around the U.S.  I hope those outside the U.S. can see it too. 

Here is a link for more information:  Departures

If you watch it, and I encourage you to give it a try, I would love to hear what you honestly think about the film.

About T A Smith

Just one of the literacy scholars on this site who wants to explore writing in all its complexities.
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28 Responses to Departures

  1. y says:

    Departures was simply gorgeous and gorgeously simple. i’m glad that you are sharing it with others!

    • Yousei Hime says:

      I loved Departures. I will definitely be buying it. Despite being about death, it is a movie I can see myself watching over and over again. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it and for stopping by. 🙂

  2. Well, how about that? It just so happens that I saw this film last week! 🙂 I really loved it! It was amazing… Subtitles don’t bother me no how. I use them on everything I watch, if possible. I always want to get all the dialogue, whether it’s in English or whatever language.

    Anyway, I asked my art grad student friend Do Kyun Lee if he had seen it, and of course he had. He’s a super movie buff, and his sister used to be even more so.

    He told me that Departures Chinese version is better. I am not sure what he’s talking about. I googled it, and there is such a version, but it seems to have the same actors?? Well, I’ll have to find him at school and get more info. Netflix doesn’t carry two versions.

    Well, the version I watched was quite a film, I must say…

    • Yousei Hime says:

      So glad you enjoyed this film too. Given the topic, I was surprised at how gracefully the humor was handled. How odd that they would make a separate Chinese version. 😯 I’d seen the older actor in another Japanese film, but can’t remember which one it is. The younger man, the main character, I’d never seen before. I should see if he has done anything else. Thanks for commenting on the film.

  3. Hi Yousei, thank you so much for sharing this link, it sounds fantastic. I love most of the good foriegn films. Have you seen Prescious at all? I watched it on the net actually a few weeks ago, it was very good, but would like to see it on bigger screen. I am certainly going to look for your suggestion and watch it.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Hi Lady! I hope you can find Departures. It was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while. I liked it better than Bright Star (about John Keats), and I love Romantic poetry and movies. I’m not familiar with Precious. What was it about? I’ll keep an eye out for it. 😀 Let me know what you think about Departures. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. souldose says:

    Some people around me don’t like hiring movies about death but I love them…. As soon as it’s available here I’ll check it out and then tell you what I think

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Hi sweet girl! The movie might be difficult for your family, but it is a beautiful look at death and those left behind. If you (and your family, I hope) watch it let me know what you thought. Much, much love.

  5. Jeanne says:

    Ooh, I am so excited. Our town has a film festival each Febrary, and this year Departures is on!! I can’t wait to see it!

    From one Japanophile to another eh?!!

    • Yousei Hime says:

      You are sooooo lucky! Of course, if it were in our theaters, I probably couldn’t drag my husband there. 😉 Hope you enjoy the film. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it. Definitely, Nihon no Otaku! 😀

  6. heartshapedlies says:

    Yay for movie reviews! I’ll definitely add it to my Movie List- the list of movies I’ll have to watch after my final round of tests end by the beginning of April! It sounds amazing! And it’s good to stop by your blog again =]

    • Yousei Hime says:

      So good to see you! I see you’re busy with studies. Do give the movie a try when they’re all done. I think you’ll like it. Of course, if you’re like me, you’ll like anything once exams are over. I had a tradition in college–once finals were all over, I grabbed my friends and went to see the stupidest movie we could find. 😉 Stay in touch.

  7. grayfoxzero says:

    The movie’s definitely showing outside of US… I watched it here in Malaysia about 3-4 months’ back.

    Indeed, this movie is a must-watch for the message on life and how short it is to hold grudges (the ultimate message at the end of the show, not gonna reveal much unless you want me to spoil the ending for the rest :P)…

    The tradition of preparing bodies as portrayed in the film is a dying profession (pun unintended) in Japan as I’ve heard from a friend. Anyone can provide more info to confirm this or otherwise?

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Welcome and thank for leaving a comment. I really liked the movie, so much that I’m considering adding it to our collection (though I may be it’s only fan in our family). I was struck by the differences in traditions between the U.S. and Japan, and there are probably more even around the world. (Just something I’d never considered.) After watching this movie, I find it very sad that the profession is fading out, but I suppose I’m not too surprised given all the shifts of the technological world. Thank you again for coming by. Visit again any time.

  8. sweetiegirlz says:

    I’ll check it out Yousei, thanks! sounds interesting, and a good “departure” lol from all the violent movies out now.

  9. Tacy says:

    Yeah, I am :D. I always email you on my mom’s address, so I’ll send you an email. Thanks!

  10. brian miller says:

    nice. thanks for the heads up on the movie. enjoyed the trailer. will check it out.

  11. Tacy says:

    Cool! What’s it rated?

  12. william says:

    hello x this sounds like a lovely film, I have watched many films in subtitles from foriegn countries and adored them, this was a great review and very kind of you to post it to promote the film, would love to see you over at my blog to read some poems xx

  13. jingle says:

    great film review,

    if you are free, you can start visiting those poets…

    best, 😉

  14. Technobabe says:

    I used your link and watched the trailer. It looks interesting to me. I might end up watching it by myself because usually hubby won’t watch a movie with subtitles. He has a problem with it. I don’t however. And it looks very interesting. Will get back to you when I find it either at the library or somewhere.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      My children and husband feel the same way about subtitles. It better be a pretty exciting movie for them to even try it. I watched it by myself. It was so much brighter and lighter than you would expect. I hope you find it, and look forward to hearing your opinion. 🙂

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