December 19th, 2014

eyes black and white

My Neighbor Totoro

Of course, "My Neighbor Totoro" is Véra's favorite movie: What other beautiful movie has a three year old as one of the two main protagonists, what more the one who drives the action (if not the main one unfolding it)? Obviously, she loves Totoro (though she gets upset everytime we draw her attention to the plush Totoro we bought her); but in the end, the "chat-bus" is her favorite monster. Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! The movie will satisfy all children from 2 to 222 — even at the thousandth viewing (and there will be a lot of them). Note: 10

That's the first time I give a 10, and I do so without hesitation. Even Ratatouille only got a 9.5. No collection of clichés to both follow and disrupt and to artificially tie in a knot in the end (or fail to miserably all along), no too-clever-by-half ambiguity about whether the magic is real or not (it both unambiguously is and isn't — ¿por qué no los dos?), taking time to not rush things yet without dwelling on unnecessary events (the pictures accompanying the end music tell everything we might want to know about the rest of the story), no condescending propaganda for the author's favorite cause (but sincere nostalgia for a time lost, yet without hiding its hardships). Just a heartfelt story, delicately told, with beautiful animation and memorable original music fit to all the circumstances of the story. The opposite of what America does. Hats off to Hayao Miyazaki and Joe Hisaishi.