Okuribito (Departures) Reviews

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November 17, 2011
December 4, 2009
The movie gestures towards deep emotions, but an abiding soft-grained superficiality effectively insulates us from the piercing realities of grief.
December 4, 2009
Fascinating, witty and heartfelt.
December 4, 2009
Yjir Takita's bitter-sweet tale of the Japanese funeral trade plays a bit like a formal service itself.
December 4, 2009
Moments of clarity and pragmatism are contradicted by flashes of inanity and dry, if well-delivered humour.
December 4, 2009
Departure's cynicism, ironically, is what makes the optimism of its last act so moving.
October 15, 2009
Takita eventually pushes the emotions too hard but by then I had lost all resistance. It's a beautiful film but take two hankies.
October 15, 2009
Departures is about life, death, grief and loss, but it's also, in a quietly effective way, about coming to terms with expectations.
August 27, 2009
A moving celebration of life through showing reverence for death.
July 16, 2009
The winning nature of the performances outweighs Takita's more obvious choices.
July 16, 2009
Departures is sometimes macabre and sometimes manipulative, but the way it speaks to the spirit is miraculous.
July 9, 2009
Departures is a loving tribute to the Japanese way of death.
June 19, 2009
It is as polished as it is heavy-handed, and it leaves one under a spell.
June 18, 2009
This is the kind of tastefully poignant drama that asks its audience to confront taboos and then pats them on the back for doing so.
June 12, 2009
It breaks no new ground, offers no audacious insights or rude revelations; toe follows tac as surely as tac follows tic.
June 12, 2009
Departures quietly subverts aesthetic and emotional expectations. There are moments where the story could turn maudlin or veer into bad taste, but the high-minded intent is never lost.
June 11, 2009
Yojiro Takita's movie simultaneously tickles tears of mourning as it wrings laughs about the meaning of life.
June 5, 2009
Departures is such an elegant, beautifully mounted meditation on death, funeral customs and parent-child relations that you may find yourself sniffling and resisting simultaneously.
June 3, 2009
The ultimate beauty of the film rests in its symbolic details that bridge the abyss between the living and the dead. As the French might say, it is to make one cry.
June 1, 2009
Departures is a film steeped in warmth, tenderness and genuine conflict.
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