Departures (in Japanese)

Rating = B-

The film is pretty to look at (interesting small town Japanese architecture), provides an interesting glimpse of Japanese funeral rituals (complementary to the glimpse in “Cherry Blossums,” earlier this year, and has some thoughtful themes (e.g., reconciliation and death rituals helping the living). It is also pretty structured to jerk your hearts strings, the acting of two of the leads is not very natural, and it moves beyond a thoughtfully slow pace to dragging (in the movie theater where I saw it, filled with senior citizens, there was a pretty heavy stream of people going out to the restroom as the movie approached the 2-hour point).