Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms (2018)

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Critic Consensus: Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms anchors its colorfully imaginative fantasy setting in universal -- and deeply poignant -- real-world themes.

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Movie Info

Though only 15, Maquia knows she will live for centuries without aging past adolescence. She belongs to the Iorph, a clan of ageless beings just like her. Maquia's elders warn her not to fall in love with anyone outside their realm, lest she wish to encounter true loneliness in the end. But fate pushes Maquia out into the mortal world one night, when an invading territory separates her from the clan. There she discovers an orphaned baby, Ariel, and takes him in as her own child. From this point, Maquia will suffer extreme heartbreak in the name of motherhood, as she watches Ariel grow and seeks to reconnect with her lost Iorph friends, all torn apart by the cruel world of Mesate.

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Critic Reviews for Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (7)

Despite being set in a Lord of the Rings-ish fantasy world, the core themes of loss, aging, and motherhood have real-world emotional resonance.

Jul 22, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

We don't even notice how deep Okada has driven her storytelling dagger until she pulls it out in the end, and the tears come, adding, to the bitterness and sweetness of this moving and strange little fable, a hefty dose of salt.

Jul 21, 2018 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

This eerie and affecting feature debut from writer-director Mari Okada blends fantasy and coming-of-age stories.

Jul 20, 2018 | Full Review…

At almost two hours, the film feels a bit long and suffers from multiple endings, but Okada is clearly a talent to watch.

Jul 19, 2018 | Full Review…

'Fantasy' often conjures visions of a Tolkien-esque mix of dragons, elves, quests and big blokes with axes, but Japanese writer-director Mari Okada's animated epic has done something impressively new with the genre.

Jun 28, 2018 | Rating: 4.5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

The storyline doesn't explore motherhood much farther than this, but the emotional resonance is powerfully evocative.

Jun 27, 2018 | Full Review…

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