Friday 11 December 2009
Yojiro Takita's gentle comic drama centres upon a cellist (Masahiro Motoki) who, after his orchestra disbands, returns to his hometown.
Here he mistakenly applies for a job in "departures" – he thinks it's a travel agency, whereas it's a business of "encoffinment", the ritualised undertaking of the dead. While his wife and friends are mortified by his choice, the observation of these precise and respectful last rites conveys not only the solace of the bereaved but the consolation of the work itself to the cellist's bruised soul. Its occasional mawkishness, and the backstory of Motoki's estranged father, suggest why the Academy awarded it Best Foreign Language Film last year – it plucks those strings a little too eagerly – but the understated playing and its good-heartedness will keep you on its side.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
- 4 Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
- 5 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
'Phallic symbols' found hidden in famous Pre-Raphaelite painting 'Isabella' by John Everett Millais
Top Gear Burma episode breached Ofcom rules over Jeremy Clarkson's racial slur
Freddie Prinze Jr on 24: 'Kiefer Sutherland was the most unprofessional dude in the world – I hated every moment of it'
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies trailer unveiled at Comic-Con
How did our legends really begin?
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
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