After his orchestra dissolves, a Japanese cellist (Masahiro Motoki) finds his true calling when he takes a job preparing the dead for their final resting place.
" A moving celebration of life through showing reverence for death. "
" Departures is a film steeped in warmth, tenderness and genuine conflict. "
" Departures is a loving tribute to the Japanese way of death. "
" Departures is sometimes macabre and sometimes manipulative, but the way it speaks to the spirit is miraculous. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" Director Yojiro Takita uses the changing seasons to echo the characters' moods; the score by Joe Hisaishi (Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle) has a suitably majestic sweep. "
" Incredibly moving. "
" It is as polished as it is heavy-handed, and it leaves one under a spell. "
" One of the most shameless examples of emotional manipulation I've seen -- and one of the most effective. "
" Takita is blessed with actors who move lightly, gracefully within this landscape. "
" The film is far from perfect but has enough going on to compensate for its excessive length and some sentimentality. "
" 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. "
" The winning nature of the performances outweighs Takita's more obvious choices. "
" 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. "
" Yojiro Takita's movie simultaneously tickles tears of mourning as it wrings laughs about the meaning of life. "
" [Director] Takita could easily trim 30 minutes of flab and oceans of tears from Departures. It still wouldn't merit an Oscar, but it would be a lot more watchable. "
" It breaks no new ground, offers no audacious insights or rude revelations; toe follows tac as surely as tac follows tic. "
" The movie gestures towards deep emotions, but an abiding soft-grained superficiality effectively insulates us from the piercing realities of grief. "
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