Best Foreign Language Film Finally Arrives

by | May 28th, 2009 | 4:00PM | Filed under: Trailers

If you watched the Academy Awards® this past February, you might remember the upset in the Best Foreign Language Film category.  Most critics thought Waltz With Bashir was a lock (our own James listed it as one of his Top Ten Films of 2008), but then presenters Liam Neeson and Frieda Pinto announced Departures as the winner.  Director Yōjirō Takita scrambled on stage — stunned — to accept the honor.

Over three months later, the Japanese film that took home the coveted golden statue finally hits theaters in select U.S. cities after earning $61 million in its home country.  It tells the story of a cellist who must take a job at a funeral parlor after his orchestra is forced to disband.   Specifically, he's put in charge of readying bodies of the deceased by dressing them and applying make-up.  Although he's too ashamed to tell his wife exactly what this new job involves, he soon learns to find deep meaning in his work.  If you can get past the somewhat hokey music that runs for about thirty seconds after the opening clip, you'll probably be as intrigued as I was by the rest of this trailer. (I loved the piece that played for the final minute.)

Below is U.S. version of the film's poster, and under that is the original poster that was used in Japan.



I prefer the Japanese version. It actually gives a clue as to what the movie is about, whereas the Americanized poster is pretty boring and — after seeing the trailer — a bit misleading.  At least it leaves a lot of room for three very important words: Academy Award Winner.

12 Responses to “Best Foreign Language Film Finally Arrives”

  1. mm32
    Posted on June 2, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    So, this is not available in redbox?

  2. Cristin
    Posted on June 2, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Thanks for enlightening those of us who get stuck in a rut and rarely think of seeing a foreign language film!!! This movie sounds great, and after watching the trailer I can hardly wait to see it!

  3. Erika Olson
    Posted on June 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    MM32 – Departures is currently in theaters. On redblog we want to talk about ALL films since we figure that anyone who is a customer of redbox must love movies in general, so we cover titles that are in cineplexes as well as available for rental through redbox… and we throw in some movie news and gossip every once in a while, too!
    - Erika

  4. Irene Soika
    Posted on June 2, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Thank you for the preview. Holding my breath until it is available in DVD. I have been a very big fan of japanese and chinese films since I was about 7 years old.

  5. Eliecia
    Posted on June 2, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Thank you for the entry i am going to my local redbox for this tonight!

  6. Amy Vander Vorste
    Posted on June 2, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Looking forward to when this is available through redbox!

  7. Dion
    Posted on June 2, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Get this movie. We love foreign films.

  8. neena
    Posted on June 3, 2009 at 8:02 am

    thank u for releasing this film!!! i have been awaiting it sense i read about it and read its reviews. thank u!!

  9. Ana Lujan
    Posted on June 3, 2009 at 8:09 am

    I love Asian culture, their vision of life is differnts as well as their movies, we are so use to the “American Culture” that we hardly get the chance to explore outside our frontiers.

  10. Stephen Hush Lizard O'Curran
    Posted on June 3, 2009 at 8:38 am

    I’ve studied up with great interest on this eye catching movie. I found myself going what is different to the eye ?, Then I think it is the clearity of personal shots ,the easy exchange and timing of frame shots moves you with your interest and curiousty of NEXT’?….
    I loved the whole idea of this movie even though the beginning at first left me wondering what emotional journey could be possible do to the expressions comic book like’(?),by the lead male actor. Then again the clarity comes up front and the easy to follow visuals join with the enjoyable script. A Oriental delight that I celebrate with !…I’m in hopes a American endeaver doesn’t do a copy and instead learns from this cinematic joy ….Yes,Enjoy !

  11. Dona
    Posted on June 4, 2009 at 3:23 am

    I can’t find this flick playing anywhere in Indianapolis, so I will await Redbox to provide
    me with this special movie. Please hurry!

  12. Mika
    Posted on June 4, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    I love the quality foreign films at Redbox, such as “I Have Loved You For So Long,” an excellent French film. It’s worth reading the subtitles. Thanks for putting “Departures” on Redbox. It is a definite must-see for me and my friends.