Written June 24, 2009
Recently, I attended the advance press preview of this 2hr 11min Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winning movie.
1) The plot - nicely fleshed-out - skillfully executed on-screen.
2) Good balance of humor and grave subject matters.
3) The entire cast gave an outstanding performance
4) Superb cinematography, excellent direction, masterful editing. Nice sets.
5) Appropriate mood-evoking score/soundtracks.
6) Gentle compassionate thoughtful careful treatment of the sensitive subject matter.
7) Easy-to-read subtitles.
I was totally unprepared for this movie - it engaged me - sucked me right in - totally captivated me as I was swept into a foreign culture with customs unlike mine.
A fan of all movie genres, I feel that this is one of the best dramas to come along in a long time. A definite MUST-SEE for drama fans. Go with an open heart and an open mind. I guarantee that you will enjoy this movie - which will linger in your mind long after it ended.
ACTUAL GRADE: Solid A
Written March 29, 2009
Watched this movie twice on a flight to Japan. Japanese with English Subtitles. A very moving story of finding meaning life and how once one does that how others are affected. Can't wait to see it in theaters.
Written May 28, 2009
Upon reading the plot, I was UN-eager about seeing this— but then was pleasantly SURPRISED at how excellent it is. Musician Daigo (MASAHIRO MOTOKI) loves playing the cello in his symphony orchestra-- & is devastated when the group disbands. His chipper wife Mika (RYOKO HIROSUE) is supportive -- & at first doesn’t press him for information on the NEW job he gets. He’s reluctant to discuss it with her because he’s ashamed to be involved in his new profession of preparing DECEASED people for their FUNERALS right in front of their family and friends. Initially repulsed by the procedures (of cleaning them, etc.), he learns from his elderly boss (TSUTOMU YAMAZAKI) that ceremonially treating the people with gentle dignity and respect is deeply APPRECIATED and comforting to the mourners. His wife reacts negatively when she learns of his coverup. It’s the interweaving of story lines and interplay between the (finely acted) characters that make this Oscar-winning Japanese film touching & special
Written September 12, 2012
Like Tolstoy, the web of characters and scenes spells out a profound view of life & death itself that rises way beyond the detail. A celebration of life lost and life yet to be lived .... don't miss it!
Written March 27, 2009
this would be a persaonl decision and were and how you feel