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Written by legendary studio founder Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Goro Miyazaki, From Up on Poppy Hill marks the first feature film collaboration between father and son. The results are stunning – a pure, sincere, nuanced and heartfelt film that signals yet another triumph for the esteemed Studio Ghibli.
*** THE 1pm SCREENINGS ON SUNDAY (5/19) OF ‘FROM UP ON POPPY HILL’ WILL BE THE ORIGINAL JAPANESE VERSION WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES***
The setting is Yokohama in 1963, and the filmmakers lovingly bring to life the bustling seaside town, with its misty harbor, sun-drenched gardens, shops and markets, and some of the most mouthwatering Japanese home-cooking set to film. The story centers on an innocent romance beginning to bud between Umi and Shun, two high school kids caught up in the changing times. Japan is picking itself up from the devastation of World War II and preparing to host the 1964 Olympics – and the mood is one of both optimism and conflict as the young generation struggles to throw off the shackles of a troubled past. While the children work together to save a dilapidated Meiji-era club house from demolition, their tentative relationship begins to blossom. But – in an unexpected twist that parallels what the country itself is facing – a buried secret from their past emerges to cast a shadow on the future and pull them apart.
More than any Studio Ghibli film, From Up on Poppy Hill embodies a specific time and place and captures the emotional landscape of its setting. The sense of yearning and new possibility is palpable (the upbeat mood is set perfectly by the period pop music), evoking both a wide-eyed hope for the future, and an aching nostalgia for a past that can never be recovered.
Star-filled voice cast includes Gillian Anderson, Sarah Bolger, Beau Bridges, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bruce Dern, Jeff Dunham, Isabelle Fuhrman, Christina Hendricks, Ron Howard, Chris Noth, Emily Osment, Aubrey Plaza, Charlie Saxton, Alex Wolff and Anton Yelchin. Multiple Academy Award® winner Gary Rydstrom directed the English language version from a script adaptation by Karey Kirkpatrick.
“Visual Magic!” – New York Times
“Stunning! As Beautiful a Hand-Drawn Animated Feature As You Are Likely to See” – Los Angeles Times
“Breathtaking! Beautiful!” – Variety
”★★★★!” – Time Out New York
“Gorgeous!” – NPR
“A beautifully artful, wistfully nostalgic coming of age romance!” – Twitch
“Exquisite! It’s a Gem!” – Screen International