The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Directed by Isao Takahata
Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her - but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.
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★★★★½ review by davidehrlich on Letterboxd
top tier Ghibli. Takahata's devastatingly great watercolor and charcoal folklore feels at once both ancient and alive. a little bit of flab in the middle (though it suits the fable-esque nature), but the last 20 minutes make up for the screechy first 20 and any pockets of trouble in between. and omg that scene where she runs away from the palace and the image practically decomposes.
★★★★½ review by Eli Hayes on Letterboxd
"Indeed, I must say that melody was quite out of this world."
The kind of gorgeous and mystical film that I imagine Tarkovsky himself would enjoy and admire if he was able to experience 21st century cinema. One of the most delightful, kind and stunningly animated films that I have... ever seen. Ever, seriously. All of the great filmmakers out there should be proud of Isao Takahata for making films like these, films about the right kinds of things, films that are proof there is more beauty and love in this world than evil and darkness. Take your children, even if they have to see it dubbed; this movie is truly something special, something that means... something.
★★★★½ review by Willow Maclay on Letterboxd
(this is very good)
maybe I'll review this for real later but right now I'm too much of an emotional wreck to say anything coherent.
★★★★★ review by SilentDawn on Letterboxd
Delicately intimate and ravishingly grand; The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is beyond words in its beauty and its deliberate majesty. Every frame of vital animation conjures up feelings that are both tangible and fully realized, delving into a story of family, regret, and respect. The story leaps off the screen, bringing multi-layered characters to life in a sweeping fashion, commenting on both the world in which we live in and the endless details that culminate into a thriving environment. The film feels alive and pure, evoking childhood and adolescence in an undiluted way that can only be described as magical.
Saying anymore than that wouldn't be doing any justice to Isao Takahata's startling vision, as the film is a visual experience that plays with your emotions like a rambunctious toddler. It isn't like the massive tear duct explosion of 1988 (otherwise known as Grave of the Fireflies), but it might actually be better. The film is something special, something original, something simple, and above all; something exquisite. I haven't seen every Studio Ghibli film, but this is arguably the best that I've seen so far. It's like stepping into a dream that you never want to wake up from, just going along for the ride as you drift towards the stars.
★★★★★ review by charulata on Letterboxd
maybe words will come to me later. for now, am still trying to put the pieces of my heart together. film of the year though.
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