The surprise winner of this year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Yojiro Takita’s DEPARTURES from Japan, stunned movie fans and Oscar-pool participants alike when it walked away with the hardware over the much more exposed and gushed-over WALTZ WITH BASHIR (which I loved) and THE CLASS (which I never saw). Well, now that it’s finally opened in Central Florida at Enzian last Friday, it continues to shock.
This lovely, funny, and touching film about an out-of-work orchestra cellist returning to his hometown only to find himself in the “encoffinment” field–a spiritual and cleansing ritual preparing the dead for the afterlife–was so warmly received by local press and filmgoers, that it’s been held over for a second week. In fact, on a weekend where three other high profile and acclaimed indies (MOON, FOOD INC. and THE STONING OF SORAYA M.) opened right down the street, DEPARTURES outgrossed them all and was our best weekend in months. And of course BRUNO opened too, and I’m sure there’s plenty of Enzian-goers who couldn’t wait to see that as well.
Due to schedule restrictions and (unfortunately) our single screen status, it’s unlikely that DEPARTURES will be able to go any longer than next Thursday, July 23. Come see why audiences are applauding this unlikely gem–you won’t want to miss this one.