renart: Alain Delon, acting adorable (Default)
dev ([personal profile] renart) wrote2016-09-07 10:07 am
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おもひでぽろぽろ [Only Yesterday] (1991, JP)

This movie is incredibly subtle, sweet, and charming. I saw it in theaters shortly after its first American release this year and it's a testament to Studio Ghibli's position as a cultural powerhouse. It's not a fantastic Ghibli film in the sense that it takes place in a different universe or version of earth, fairy realm, or anything like that. It could have easily not been animated at all, and part of its appeal is that it was an homage to popular "coming of age" films beloved by Japanese women. No one traditionally thought that those could be done by anime studios, but this clearly proved them wrong and was wildly popular.

It's a slow-paced, reflective, and meandering story of a Japanese businesswoman living in 1980s Tokyo who spends her vacation time working on a small organic farm. The experience forces her to recollect several key moments from her childhood and journey into adolescence, and she winds up doing some soul-searching about her life's direction. It's beautifully animated and it's a shame that it's such a criminally under-appreciated Ghibli film.

(I was forced to see the dub when we went just because of timing, and it was a little clunky; I'm sure the original is probably better. But Daisy Ridley did a good job as the title character Taeko, I think.)

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