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…
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,…
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.
I've watched this film over and over again and it never gets tiresome. An extremely moving piece of drama that is laced with themes of reconciliation, forgiveness and being a professional and serving with pride. A superb all-round cast which I love and this film shatters all taboos that comes with the profession of a "casketer". Get ready to feel touched, moved, entertained and sob all in one movie. Totally recommend to anyone who missed this Academy Award winning film for "Best Foreign Picture".
Quite depressing, but I loved the characters and their development.
Perhaps I was in the wrong mood, but I felt that, while parts of "Departures" are truly fantastic, it was a bit uneven. Some themes seemed to be pushed just a bit too far to the point of becoming overly obvious or even cheesy. Then again, it was a bit mis-marketed to me by friends. I will have to give it another watch sometime.
Kind hearted with a feeling of warmth and an life-affirming tone throughout , "Departures" is a beautiful story of life and death shot with perfection and acted with pure emotion. It deserved the oscar.
Es una suerte poder acercarse a una cultura tan lejana y aprender de ella gracias a una maestría y sensibilidad como estas.
Prachtige, integere film over een cellist die werkloos raakt en in de uitvaart werkzaam raakt. Een mooi verhaal over een leermeester die zijn kennis vol emotie overdraagt aan zijn leerling, en leert dat het prepareren van dode mensen vooral met respect en liefde gedaan moet worden. Mooi!
March Around The World Challenge #12-Japan
Who never thought a funeral could ever be that beautiful. Just watching the way they do a ceremony to those who have passed flows like poetry. Is Departures worth Best Foreign film of 2008 at the Oscars ? Of Course. Its one sad but a wonderful and touching ride of a film.
Although it's instantly interesting, and remains oddly beautiful throughout, the combination of a story that goes nowhere and facial expressions that could mean literally anything make this tale of life and death a little meaningless by the end.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I caught this film on the Death section of a Japanese Festival of Film and Culture. Since I didn't have much time I only made this film, my only viewing of the festival.
Can't say I made the right or the wrong choice though. The early part of the film made me enjoy Daigo's demise from the ambitious cello player to the rookie casket guy. The subtle humor was there, those silent moments between him and his boss really added to the depth of these characters.
However, it's in the second part where this film hit a stumbling block for me. The "you should be ashamed" treatment from his friend and wife caught me off guard. I later understood that…
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Sometimes I get stuck in a rut when it comes to watching films. I either just watch anything that comes…