Cert: 12A Year: 2008 Length: 130 mins
Score: 84.75% Attendance: 97
Masahiro Motoki stars as the newly redundant young cellist who returns to his roots but goes after a job advertising 'departures' – which he thinks may be a travel agency, but instead involves him in an entirely different journey, as the person who will strip the dead and make them ready for their funerals. Winner of the 2009 Oscar for Best Foreign-language film, the film's grace and general understatement are a surprise from a director with soft porn in his cv. Its flirtations with the broad humour of 'encoffinment' have puzzled some, but for most reviewers the laughs and reflective narrative make a good fit.
The cinematography is perfectly framed and evocative, and the movie is uncommonly absorbing.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-times
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Best Website 2007
Film Society of The Year 2006
Best Programme 2005
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Best Programme 2001
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