Indie Gems: Departures

Well, that's not what I signed up for.

Daigo (Masahiro Motoki) recently lost his job as a cellist in an orchestra when they go out of business. He decides to move back to his home town with his wife, Mika. (RyƓko Hirosue) He sees an advertisement for a job involving "Departures" He thinks it's a travel agency, but soon finds out it's actually someone who prepares dead bodies for their burials. Though he's cautious at first, he ends up taking a lot of pride in this job.

The film gets off to a bit of a slow start, but when it gets going it's nothing short of amazing. Motoki is perfect here. He's very charismatic and it's a joy to watch his journey. His chemistry with Hirosue is spot on as well. The supporting cast of Tsutomu Yamazaki and Kimiko Yo are excellent as well.

The score and cinematography are equally beautiful. It's easy to see why this film won the Best Foreign Film Oscar. 

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "...you mean dead bodies?" Daigo (Masahiro Motoki)

14 comments:

  1. Nice write up! :-)

    Forgive me asking though but how does this qualify as an indie film?

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    1. No worries! I have it explained in my Indie Gem tab, but the biggest qualifier for me is how they're distributed in the United States. (where I'm located) A lot of these foreign films are distributed by smaller companies and given limited releases here, so I put them under the Indie Gems umbrella. :)

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    2. Ah I see. Thanks!. :-)

      Maybe one day you could expand it to a World Cinema section if the situation demands it? ;-)

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    3. That's a good idea. My blog is very small, so for now I think this works. Thank you though! :)

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  2. LOL, I'll save my thoughts on this for, like, two weeks from now ;-)

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    1. I have a bunch of written reviews scheduled months out. Just the order I watched them in, the timing is interesting. lol

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  3. I watched this when I was having a marathon of Asian cinema in March. Such an interesting movie. That final scene :(

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  4. I avoided this movie because I thought it looked too sad. I will try and catch this based solely in your recommendation

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    1. It's actually not that sad at all. There's definitely a few downer parts, but it's very amusing and touching.

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  5. I'll keep my eye out for it, thanks for the recommend.

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  6. I still need to see this, but right now I think it shouldn't have beat The Class or Waltz with Bashir for the Oscar. Maybe I'll love it though. :)

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    1. I haven't seen either of those, and I know I need to.

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