Written May 26, 2016
The Wind Rises is a visually stunning film. It is a bit long and drags in places, yet it is worth seeing. I have never seen more smoking in a film.
Written October 24, 2016
Fans of Miyazaki's earlier work will be delighted to see the master is still fully on top of his game. The animation is nothing short of spectacular: what would be a throwaway transition shot in some other animator's film here becomes a study on the play of dappled sunlight. And prewar Japan is rendered in loving detail, caught in the fascinating transition from traditional to modern.
The story is gently but deftly told, interspersing scenes from the life of airplane designer Jiro Horikoshi with fantastic dream sequences in which Jiro imagines flying with various aircraft models and developing a relationship with an older Italian airplane designer whose work he admires. It's a sad tale—Jiro gets to design his airplanes, but knows they will be used for a war he is opposed to; he gets engaged to the girl he loves, but knows she is ill and won't live long—but Jiro's heroic attitude of taking the bad with the good and making the most of his opportunities gives it enduring hope as well.
Written March 15, 2014
With the finesse and depth of all the Miyazaki movies, "The Wind Rises" carries you through from childhood to the struggles of adulthood alongside a man with a dream. While there is nothing in this film that kids cannot see, I don't know that young children would understand or appreciate the nuances in "The Wind Rises." It is animation, yes, but not children's animation. So many of Miyazaki's movies are written on multiple levels, you can watch them again and again and never see it all.
Visually beautiful, as is allof Miyazaki's work, this film reaches an emotional beauty as well and challenges long held beliefs about war and those involved in it. This is a movie that would make Werner von Braun weep. Spoiler alert - it does not reach a happy, feel-good conclusion.
An absolute must-see for all Miyazaki devotees. It is his last, but his work will never be forgotten.
Written March 11, 2014
This was a beautiful example of old school animation that rivals Disney in it's heyday. The detail and mood setting realism was astounding. This was the swan song and last work of this world famous anime artist and should not be missed on the big screen. I will see this again.
Written March 03, 2014
I'm sad to think there will be no more Miyazaki films, as this is reportedly his last. I liked this film very much, though it was very different from what one would normally expect of a Miyazaki. This is the true story of the man who designed the Zero bomber that wreaked so much havoc in WWII. There were a number of children at the showing I attended, and the subject matter is rather dark and somewhat inappropriate for the very young.