Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Daigo, a cellist, is laid off from his orchestra and moves with his wife back to his small hometown where the living is cheaper. Thinking he’s applying for a job at a travel agency he finds he’s being interviewed for work with departures of a more permanent nature – as an undertaker’s assistant.
The postmortem is wholly conclusive and far from a pretty one. Loved ones may want to leave the room. Those that wish to stay please feel free to leave your messages of condolence below along with any respects you wish to pay. It would be nice to reflect upon a quick passing, a painless death onto a better place. But in a time of grief such as this, hiding the truth will hinder far more than it will help.
In reality Departures is a stinker of a film, a saccharine infested Oscar vehicle that smashed through the gates of the Academy and took what it came for. Any ideas given toward seeing a world in which conflicted characters overcome complicated…
A truly great piece of film making.
Departures is a beautifully acted Japanese movie, which managed to utterly immerse me into the fascinating life of Daigo Kobayashi, a successful cellist, who suddenly finds that his orchestra is to be disbanded.
This life has been a safety net and the regular income vanishes leaving Daigo with no money to pay for the brand new cello he has just bought and is facing big debts. Daigo has to go home and explain this all to his wife Mika.
His confidence in playing or working with another orchestra is all but lost and Daigo decides to sell his instrument and try something else.
From this point the story becomes incredibly touching and poignant…
Departures is the second movie in as many days to leave me on the verge of blubbering like a baby. I just can't handle this, I need to watch something manly. Damn you, Departures. Damn you for being so good.
Daigo, a Cello player, suddenly loses his job as the orchestra he plays in disbands. Returning home, he reluctantly accepts a job as an encoffiner, an act in which one prepares bodies of the deceased before they are placed in coffins. I had never heard of this practice before, so the whole process was at first a little strange but grew to be quite intriguing and by the end I fully understood why people would want to have it done.…
Such a touching portrayal of life and death. Unfortunately it is a movie that has been spoilt by my viewing conditions so I cannot rate it as highly as I think it probably deserves as I wasn't always concentrated. However, having said that I do think it is a poignant film and a deeply moving one at that. I could just feel it, even though I wasn't always mentally there!
My problem is that I have bought a new TV that has come with a technical issue that is frankly driving me bonkers! The thing is to most eyes it would be such a minor thing - which is probably why no word on the issue can be found online,…
I really must not have been paying attention to the Oscars for the last half-decade or so, as I only recently discovered this movie existed, let alone won the Foreign Language award in 2008.
Daigo Kobayashi (Masahiro Motoki) is a cellist who is forced to give up his dream of professional musicianship, and his expensive cello, when the orchestra he has recently joined folds. He moves back to his home town and the house left to him by his deceased mother, accompanied by his loyal wife. He answers a job advert in 'departures' and finds himself in the business of 'encoffining'; a traditional art of embalming performed inf front of the deceased's family during the funeral ceremony.
Like Karl Markovic's…
The east asian new wave films ive got to know in the 21st century are hyper stylized and they're either gory thillers or the romantic, ethereal types. However Departures seems to be part of a neorealist movement reminiscent to the works of Ozu and Naruse.
This film could have been very dreary and draining but Takita keeps it surpisingly light and it turned out to be a lot more fun than i thought. Yet there is a lot of emotional resonance, especially in that heart wrenching final scene. Its a soft, enjoyable and poignant look at the ebb and flow of life.
Who would have thought the story of an unemployed cellist becoming an undertaker could be so moving?
Slow and predictable, but still beautiful.
Profoundly moving. Not one I am sure I would watch again and again, but I highly recommend this.
This film fucking made me cry. And it's Japanese!
It deals with the "what if" relationship between a father and a son. And not to mention, that son works in a funeral parlor, beautifying the dead---don't know the exact term for the profession, but I guess the Japanese have this in their culture.
A total must-see. I'm not even being sarcastic.
Very touching and thought provoking
When there's a dirty job that needs doing, you call one man: a former cellist with a set of highly specific skills who does the things that other men won't... or can't. Prepare for an adventure - in death! - with "Departures."
Ok, so "Departures" is less Liam Neeson ass-kicker and more (or, y'know, entirely) thoughtful Japanese tale about a wayward man who gets drawn into the important but culturally unclean world of burial ceremonies. The dead bodies on screen are not accompanied by pithy one-liners and action set-pieces, though they are lovingly tended in exquisite masterfully shot traditional Japanese rituals. Let's see Michael Bay try that!
Jokes aside, I found "Departures" to pull off a tricky balance. It's a…
LIFE AS FICTION — It’s so fitting that when the Academy finally honors an Asian work with the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, the crown is worn by a bastion of studio-laced mediocrity. Departures reminds you over and over that you’re watching a carefully directed art film that has symbolism and emotions and all that other good stuff that separates it from the barrage of mainstream dramas. But as successful as it is in conveying the little artifacts of daily life, it’s equally as frustrating in forgetting to treat the viewer with the kind of respect necessary for this to be a mutually enjoyable experience. There’s an elegant humanist setup to the whole show that gets sideswiped in the…
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
- Miller's Crossing
- Army of Shadows
- Boudu Saved from Drowning
Sometimes I get stuck in a rut when it comes to watching films. I either just watch anything that comes…