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Trailer Watch: Studio Ghibli’s ‘When Marnie Was There’ Offers a Mysterious Female Friendship

Trailer Watch: Studio Ghibli's 'When Marnie Was There' Offers a Mysterious Female Friendship

A trailer has been released for Studio Ghibli’s latest feature, which unfortunately may also be its last. “When Marnie Was There,” an adaptation of Joan G. Robinson’s young-adult book of the same name, focuses on Anna (Hailee Steinfeld), an orphan whose foster parents send her to the country. After discovering a mansion that seems eerily familiar to her, Anna finds some unexpected company in the form of a mysterious girl named Marnie (Kiernan Shipka,”Mad Men”). 

This spot for the movie focuses on the complicated and intense friendship that Anna, who very much identifies as an outsider, strikes up with Marnie. Marnie begs Anna, “Promise me something — that we’ll remain a secret forever.” The trailer suggests Marnie is hiding a secret of her own, but Anna “doesn’t care who Marnie really is” and only focuses on helping her. 

Joining Steinfeld and Shipka in the voice cast for the English-language version of the film are Vanessa Williams, Geena Davis, Kathy Bates, Ellen Burstyn, Catherine O’Hara, Grey Griffin (“Avatar: The Last Airbender”), Ava Acres (“Adventure Time”) and Raini Rodriguez (“Girl in Progress”). 

Rumors have been swirling about Studio Ghibli figurehead Hayao Miyazaki retiring, and the studio has revealed that it will likely shut down or restructure when Miyazaki departs. Women and Hollywood included Studio Ghibli’s “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” in our list of 2014’s best films about women, writing that the film “reminds us what we’ll lose with Studio Ghibli’s imminent closure: wonderfully complex movies about girls from Japan’s premiere animation studio.”

At least we have one more wonderfully complex movie about a girl from the studio to look forward to. “When Marnie Was There” will be released on May 22. 

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