A beautifully quiet and deeply bittersweet folk tale bolstered by a fascinating portrait of a young girl's internal struggle to find her own sense of self.
Having the locations and their inhabitants change physically and emotionally, like a revolving door, around her as she herself rapidly ages further emphasizes the anxiety built around puberty and aging into adulthood.
Takahata even frames a setting steeped in tradition and strong cultural sensibilities to tell a character study imbued with modern ideas.
I probably teared up like three times. Exceptional film.
Birdman really commits to its inherent theatricality through entertaining use of jazz drumming, heightened acting, and Lubezki's always moving camera. It's a solid foundation that truly propels it forward and holds the whole production together despite its frequent stumbling whenever Iñárritu sees fit to preach (closer towards the side of whining) and spell out themes to the audience. The guy just can't seem to help himself.
So white washed and sterile that it makes the "culture clash" of San Francisco and Tokyo completely superficial. Its vapid tackling of familial loss is made all the more frustrating due to its blank cast of rote characters. Then a big superhero battle, ripped straight out of Marvel's already dull recent output, happens. Don't bother.