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critics consensus

When Marnie Was There is still blessed with enough visual and narrative beauty to recommend, even if it isn't quite as magical as Studio Ghibli's greatest works. Read critic reviews

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When Marnie Was There Photos

Movie Info

A tomboy (Hailee Steinfeld) explores a long-abandoned villa and meets a mysterious blonde girl only she can see.

Cast & Crew

Kathy Bates
Mrs. Kadoya
Voice
Mila Brener
Young Hisako
Voice
Ellen Burstyn
Elderly Lady
Voice
Geena Davis
Yoriko Sasaki
Voice
Grey Griffin
Setsu Oiwa
Voice
John C. Reilly
Kiyomasa Oiwa
Voice
Raini Rodriguez
Nobuko Kadoya
Voice
Kiernan Shipka
Marnie
Voice
Keiko Niwa
Screenwriter
Masashi Ando
Screenwriter
Yohei Taneda
Production Design
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News & Interviews for When Marnie Was There

Critic Reviews for When Marnie Was There

All Critics (99) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (90) | Rotten (9)

  • The quasi-Sapphic intensity of Anna and Marnie's relationship - recalling Ghost World or a benign Heavenly Creatures - is poetically and sensitively handled.

    August 9, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • While Marnie lacks the densely mystical, immersive quality of Ghibli at its best, the film features characteristically exquisite hand-drawn animation and a sensitivity to the precarious, friable quality in an adolescent girl's self-worth.

    June 12, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The painterly, old-school aesthetic brings an aptly nostalgic feel to this examination of how the past can haunt the present and the rapturous intensity of young friendship.

    June 9, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The film has a mournful delicacy and sense of mystery about it which counterbalances its sentimentality.

    June 9, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The gentle, unforced charm of the animation feels like the very best of book illustration come to miraculous life, but with a strong, almost Hitchcockian streak of excitement and danger.

    June 9, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • An intimate, emotional journey, which may lack the scope and scale of previous Ghibli adventures, but remains a bittersweet sayonara for the studio.

    June 9, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for When Marnie Was There

  • Oct 27, 2016
    http://cinephilecrocodile.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/when-marnie-wasthere-dir-hiromasa.html
    Anthony L Super Reviewer
  • Feb 17, 2016
    There will never be enough words in the dictionary to describe how incredibly thought-provoking the films that come from Studio Ghibli are. "When Marnie Was There" is no exception to that statement. Following an introverted girl, outcast by her peers at school and being diagnosed with asthma, Anna is sent away to a relatives house in the country. Filled with trees, water, and an environment that she will feel at home in, we begin to see more of the inner-Anna as the film progresses. At the films core, it is about a young orphan girl, who is looking to find herself. She comes across a young girl named Marnie and their friendship blossoms quickly and fiercely, leading to plot twists that will have you in tears. This film is truly magnificent for everything it sets itself up for, and the payoff is emotionally satisfying in every way. This studio always knows how to write a compelling story and execute it in such a beautiful way. As always, the animation is crafted to perfection and each element has meaning. Of all the films I have had the pleasure of seeing in 2015, this is definitely one of my favourites. I truly do not have any complaints about this picture. Any questions or concerns you may have throughout the duration of this film, will be answered by the time the credits role, and if you end up enjoying this film as much as myself, you will not want that to happen. I wanted this film to keep going and going. "When Marnie Was There" is one of my favourite films from Studio Ghibli and one of the best films of 2015.
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Feb 16, 2016
    The animation is gorgeous like everything Studio Ghibli makes (though this is perhaps its final production, following Miyazaki's retirement), but the film is not without its flaws, such as trouble with pacing and a twisty plot whose revelations are more predictable than insightful.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 08, 2016
    When Marnie Was There (2014, Japan) is yet another picturesque Studio Ghibli production with a beautiful sketch of Japanese countryside. Very much different from its predecessors in terms of narrative and propagating themes on self-discovery and self-formation with a hint of thriller and mystery, When Marnie Was There is truly a Studio Ghibli classic guaranteed to warm your heart and pinch you in all the right places.
    Jan Marc M Super Reviewer

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