Upon being sent to live with relatives in the countryside, an emotionally distant adolescent girl becomes obsessed with an abandoned mansion and infatuated with a girl who lives there - a girl who may or may not be real.
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A young girl is sent to the country for health reasons, where she meets an unlikely friend in the form of Marnie, a young girl with flowing blonde hair. As the friendship unravels it is possible that Marnie has closer ties to the protagonist than we might expect. Written by
Studio Ghibli's last? Who knows....but I wouldn't let young kids watch this one.
A while back, I watched a documentary about Hiyao Miyazaki and he sure sounded as if he was saying that after his final film, Studio Ghibli would be no more. Is this true? Not exactly, as this film soon came out...but since then things have been vague and at the very least, the studio is on some sort of hiatus. What's next? Who knows. But does this film give any weight to the argument that Ghibli certainly can go on without him? It did receive an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature....but is it good and does it meet the studio's standards?
The film is about an asthmatic loner, Anna. She's a very sad young girl and has no friends. To help her improve her health, she's sent out to live in the country. However, she soon becomes obsessed with a seemingly abandoned mansion nearby as well as the young lady, Marnie, that lives there. But as the film progresses, the audience begins to wonder if Marnie even exists or if she's some sort of ghost. The real story about Marnie and how this all relates to Anna is something finally revealed near the end...suffice to say that you might just need some tissues. And, since it is such a melancholy film, I don't recommend it to young kids, as they won't understand what they are watching. But for everyone else, including adults, it's a very satisfying and beautiful film...and every bit as enjoyable as the best of Miyazaki. Because of this, I don't quite understand the hiatus. Why not continue the momentum and positive feelings this film will no doubt generate?! Overall, this is a very special and quite unusual film...one that probably has no chance against "Inside Out"...but still well worth seeing.
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