When my husband and I went to Blockbuster to rent The Talented Mr. Ripley (I had to see it after all the comments you left on my review of the novel!), this film caught my eye.
First, that it was Japanese.
Secondly, that it won the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film.
It is easily the best film I’ve seen all year. On a theme that’s dear to my heart, departing, we have a thousand variations: departing when a father abandons his wife and son, departing when one moves from one’s dream job to any job one can find, departing when we leave this earth.
When his orchestra disbands, Daigo Kobayashi (Masahiro Motoki) decides to start over and moves back to his small hometown. Desperate for work, he secretly takes a job as a “Nokanshi,” a funeral professional who prepares the deceased for burial and entrance into the next life. But while working with the families of the departed, Daigo embarks on a spiritual journey of his own as he finally experiences the joy and wonder of living. (back cover)
I cannot begin to tell you how lovely and powerful this film is. I recommend it with all my heart.