Departures – 7

A beautifully elegiac film about loved ones’ departing life and human beings’ finding their callings, enhanced by a side-story of cello-playing that fed into an ennobling soundtrack.  I hope, however, that the Japanese ritual of “encoffinment” was an allegory. If so, it was justified. If not, then the movie has a lot of improbabilities to account for, starting with the “emergency” calls the hero had to respond to. If a corpse can’t wait, who can? Another recurring theme was eating, which I have yet to integrate. And the acting was rather broad, which seems a convention of Japanese cinema, not life. The biggest mystery, though, was how this pleasant, interesting film won the Academy Award for best foreign picture.

ps: What are the odds of seeing two movies about disenfranchised cellists or two moview about Japanese “death” rituals in the same year?

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