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.
Fourth watch of March around the World: Japan. Why does everybody in this film eat in such a disgusting manner? Or is that something Japanese? Departures feels like entry level Asian cinema; the sort of movie you’d recommend to one of your friends who just started digging the first layers of serious film watching and who asks you to give him some titles with which he may commence his journey. That positions is also resembled in the absurdly high IMDb-score for Departures, whilst most Letterboxd-users will certainly agree with me that the rich world of Asian cinema has plenty of better gems to offer than this light-hearted experience. Personally, I think it is too longwinded and lacking in scenes that leave much impression. It’s typical, and a pity, that this is one of the few Asian films that has managed to win an Oscar.
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…
A fascinating look at a dying tradition referred to as encoffining, preparing loved ones for their journey after death! It is the last act of love one can do for the deceased and it's done with such moving grace and beauty!
A brilliant, touching and sentimental film unlike anything you have ever seen before!
It won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film!
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,…
Okuribito is marvelous drama film. It gives great insight about the theme and subject that it carries. Very emotional scenes at some frames, and I must include here that the final scene when he finds a pebble in hand of his father is far more tearjerker scene that I could have expected from this total serious film. It is also to be greatly noticed that there is great stress upon the life of a new encoffiner assigned to the job, who faces corpses of different stature. The scene in which he has to hold legs of two week old deteriorated corpse of an elderly dead woman, is magnificent, that includes his almost puking face. A must watch film, I should recommend.
Departures (Okuribito) is a Japanese film by Y¨jir¨ Takita which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2009 Oscars. Emotional story with wonderful cast! Do not miss it! Loosely based on Aoki Shinmon's autobiographical book Coffinman: The Journal of a Buddhist Mortician, the film needed ten years to be finished. Motoki studied the art of 'encoffinment' at first hand from a mortician, and how to play a cello for the earlier parts of the movie. The director attended funeral ceremonies in order to understand the feelings of bereaved families. Job well done!
i watched this years ago and i was going through my "sudden realization of human mortality" phase and this just made it worse
When Daigo Kobayahsi loses his job, he moves back into his childhood home with his wife. Looking for work, he sees an advertisement to "assist with departures." He assumes the job is with a travel agency, but soon learns it's a mortuary.
In Japan, dealing with the deceased is "unclean"and Kobayashi is ashamed of his accidental career. His wife leaves him and his friend, Yamashita, abandons him.
When Yamashita's mother dies, Kobayashi performs the encoffinment, and during the ceremony, his wife and friend realize the importance of his work.
Despite the numerous masterpieces from Kuroswa and Ozu, this was the first Japanese winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Inevitable in a film about the rituals of death, it's a tad too sentimental in places, but demonstrates the common humanity we discover when we realize all paths lead to the same end.
One of those rare instances when it is difficult to express the emotions running through your mind. An heartfelt, beautiful, emotional roller-coaster of a movie.
A cellist, after his unsuccessful attempt to make it big, decides to return to his hometown and get a 'normal' job. Unfortunately, he lands up working as encoffiner, performing last rites and rituals for the deceased. A 'tainted' job in the eyes of the society, but he eventually develops pride and purpose in this profession.
This wonderful movie clearly deserved the Oscar for the best foreign film. Everything in this movie is almost perfect: an original screenplay based on the rich Japanese culture that brings the most different and antagonistic feelings to the viewer, magnificent…
A beautiful film that touchingly reckons with death and our attitudes towards it. Surprising humor supports the sincerely humanist frame.
This is such a beautiful movie. The cinematography, the music, the story, the acting. It was all just amazing. Movies about death are such a mixed bag but this is one of the best I've seen.
A very beautiful movie about confronting death and seeking to understand it through ritual and care.
Daigo loses his job as a cellist and decides to return to his hometown. At a loss, believing that he was never really talented enough to make a living from his instrument, he applies for the first job he sees advertised, without really understanding the cryptically worded ad. Upon arrival he realises that the job is for an NK agent - someone who ritualistically prepares the dead for their funeral. He decides to take the job anyway, only to find the meaning and the purpose in it.
I can only come from this from a Western perspective, but I was reminded by the very…
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…