Beloved animator/filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki’s chronicle of the career of real-life aeronautical engineer Jirô Horikoshi contains all the ingredients and emotional resonance that have made Miyazaki’s films (Spirited Away, etc.) so captivating – up to the point at which we realize the formerly whimsical Horikoshi, who has always dreamed of flying but cannot because of poor eyesight, is designing war planes for the Japanese military machine of World War II. This casts a pall, not only on what is reportedly Miyazaki’s last feature film, but over in his entire filmography. That’s too bad, because the movie’s art and imagination are at typically high levels, particularly in the depiction of the disastrous 1923 Kantō earthquake. The English version uses vocals by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Stanley Tucci, and Mandy Patinkin (126 min.).
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