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Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 43 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Departures follows Daigo Kobayashi, a devoted cellist in an orchestra that has just been dissolved and who is suddenly left without a job. Daigo decides to move back to his old hometown with his wife to look for work and start over. He answers a classified ad entitled “Departures” thinking it is an advertisement for a travel agency only to discover that the job is actually for a "Nokanshi" or "encoffineer," a funeral professional who prepares deceased bodies for burial and entry into the next life. While his wife and others despise the job, Daigo takes a certain pride in his work and begins to perfect the art of “Nokanshi,” acting as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, between the departed and the family of the departed. The film follows his profound and sometimes comical journey with death as he uncovers the wonder, joy and meaning of life and living. (Regent Releasing)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. 100
    The movie is uncommonly absorbing.
  2. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    90
    The film manages to be anything but dark; whimsy and sweet irony are laced throughout, a warmhearted blend that turned it into the surprise winner of 2008's Oscar for foreign-language film.
  3. A surprisingly uplifting examination of life and loss.
  4. 75
    The fascination, humor and poignancy of Departures, this year's winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, rests in the Japanese ceremony of preparing bodies for their caskets.
  5. It is as polished as it is heavy-handed, and it leaves one under a spell.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    This is the kind of tastefully poignant drama that asks its audience to confront taboos and then pats them on the back for doing so.
  7. 42
    Here's a great way to start savoring life: Don't waste it on pat manipulations like this.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. Apr 19, 2011
    10
    Beautiful film, great story and an amazing lead performance. The little details are the ones that makes you to not stop watching!! A very deserving winner of the oscar!! Expand
  2. Sep 14, 2010
    9
    Okuribito draws the viewer in almost immediately. The subtle, hidden messages are as prevalent as the obvious messages. It teaches the significance of life, death, love, and the importance of family. The phenomenal audio makes the touching scenes even more personal. A film worthy of our eyes and of the Oscar it received. Expand
  3. Mar 11, 2012
    8
    Great music scores are what the japanese does best.
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  4. Jan 3, 2014
    8
    A sensação que esse filme proporciona magicamente confortável, acompanhado de sua bela trilha sonora e personagens carismáticos. E com uma trama interessante. Expand
  5. Jul 5, 2013
    8
    Beautifully shot with some great exteriors; the landscape take quite a big part in this film. There were some lovely comic moments as well as some quite distressing scenes as the families go through all kinds of emotions as the say goodbye to their loved ones. I’ll admit to having found it quite touching at times and even shed a tear or two for my dear departed mum. Of course music plays quite a big part in the film and there are some really touching scenes as Daigo plays his cello out in the fields. I did find, however, that the final act didn’t quite have the emotional punch I had expected. Yes, the emotions were there, but it didn’t quite hit home the way I anticipated. Even so, it’s a film I really enjoyed and one I would happily watch again someday.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

    My score: 8.2/10
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See all 19 User Reviews

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