Posted in Art & Animation, Fantasia 2013, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Garden of Words review – Fantasia 2013

gardenofwordsGarden of Words / 言の葉の庭 / Kotonoha no Niwa (2012)
Director: Makoto Shinkai ; Screenplay: Makoto Shinkai
Cast: Kana Hanazawa, Miyu Irino, Fumi Hirano, Takeshi Maeda, Fumi Hirano

This is more of a short film at 46 minutes and it doesn’t feel too short either. The art is breathtaking and beautiful. It does in fact take place in a real garden/park that exists in Japan. There are many rainy scenes to watch which makes you think the movie should have been called Garden of Rain. The animation is alright, movement isn’t really fluid but this isn’t the type of movie that requires meticulous animation. The story, however, is overly sentimental to the point of nausea. Expect lots of inner monologues about not being understood and that sort of stuff. You have a 15 year old who wants to make shoes and skips the morning class whenever it rains to visit the park where he draws shoes. He meets an older woman there one day (who really doesn’t look much older at all) whom has her own reasons for skipping work on rainy days. They gradually develop a friendship and possibly deeper feelings. The reveal of the large age gap makes it awkward to watch. Then there’s that last argument they have which sounded pretty dumb to me. I can’t lie and say it didn’t have an emotional impact but the argument was irrational and out of nowhere it seems. It’s too bad because I was really looking forward to this and thought it was going to be better. At least the art was amazing. Trailer after the jump.

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Author:

Longtime fan of East Asian films. Former "movie reporter" on the music radio show / podcast "Beats From The East" broadcasted on Concordia University's CJLO 1690AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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