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…
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,…
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.…
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…
A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals.
Subtle and touching tale of man pursuing an unusual and frowned upon work; made in good taste and not without some fine humour.
A Japanese Oscar nominated piece, centred around the main protagonist (Daigo Kobayashi played by Masahiro Motoki) entering a new chapter of his life as his lifelong dream of being a professional cellist comes to an end. His story begins as he and his wife relocate back to his childhood town, staying in a family café his deceased mother has left them. As in many Japanese films, family is a large factor. Daigo’s father is absent in his upbringing which has deeply affected him and placed great importance on raising a family with his supportive wife.
Soon after the relocation, Kobayashi finds work and thus meets an important father figure. Interesting characters from the small local community contribute to familial feel…
What is it about death, when it occupies the center of a narrative like a black hole, that throws everything into a whole new perspective because it forces us all to gaze, whether we want to or not, into that void that we try to walk elegantly along without falling in? Departures has a strange situational premise in which a young cello player who finally finds a job with a symphony orchestra in Tokyo just as it goes bankrupt and everyone gets fired, must count his losses, regroup and rethink his future. He goes back to his small home town in the north with his wife to live in a cafe and apartment his mother left behind when she died…
Κι ο θάνατος σημαντικός είναι
Much like 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind', this film has such a strong first hour, but then dwindles and loses itself in the second hour.
Maybe it's just me but both movies really impressed me at first but then they adopted a poor focus and lost what made the first hour so great.
This film had a lot of charm and humour to it. It was unique and entertaining. Then, I became disinterested.
It might not be Oscar worthy, but it's worth seeing. I would have preferred seeing the Oscar go to 'Waltz With Bashir' or 'Revanche'.
An unemployed cellist finds work as a "encoffinator", a Japanese ritualized preparation of a corpse for burial. This was the surprise of the 2008 Best Foreign Film Oscar. It was certainly sneaky surprise. Also a sneaky surprise is how much of an emotional impact this film would make on a viewer, including yours truly. Even though the film is all about death, the film is actually warm, uplifting, life-affirming and even funny in parts. And even though you are watching what's essentially a foreign ritual (which is already rare in Japan apparently), there is a feeling of universality surrounding it. It's no wonder this managed to win over more high profile contenders. Oh, and a great score by Joe Hsiashi too.
Un film di una delicatezza immensa che affronta un tema abbastanza atipico. Un film caldo che sa essere ironico dove serve. Non riesco a capire l'antipatia che i giapponesi nutrono nei confronti di chi veste i morti, ma si sa che ogni popolo ha la sua cultura e i suoi pregiudizi. Quindi è stato tutto una piccola e piacevole scoperta.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
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The only issue I had with this film was Daigo's wife and entire storyline (what, do you think she comes back becouse she loves you? Ha! Unexpected pregnancy, once again you saved the day), but beside that, I quite liked it. The music is fantastic and the focus of the director on the faces, hands and gestures makes you care for this characters and elevates the rituals to pure art. The story is predictable, but that doesn't prevent it to be interesting and FULL of feelings. Overall a good sit
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.
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…