From Up on Poppy Hill takes a gentle, nostalgic look at Japan in 1963, from the perspective of a schoolgirl who lives in the Yokohama neighborhood evoked in the title,…written and “planned” by Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) perhaps the greatest living fantasist in world cinema (and directed by his son Goro)…Umi lives in a house overlooking the water…and develops a crush on Shun, though their family histories are connected in ways that complicate the romance. Shun and Umi are young people in a country looking forward to hosting the Olympics, but the shadow of war hangs over their lives, much as it did in My Neighbor Totoro, Hayao Miyazaki’s magnificent fable set in the 1950s. The specific tragedy that lies in the background may not register with children, which means they will be touched by the film’s sadness without being too upset by it. Adults, meanwhile, are likely to be charmed by the love story and enchanted by the delicate rendering of a bygone but not entirely forgotten era”—A.O. Scott, NY Times. In Japanese with English subtitles. PG. 91 Min.
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