The Wind Rises (2013)
Dir. Hayao Miyazaki
"Airplanes are just cursed dreams, waiting for the sky to swallow them up."
As Miyazaki’s swan song, this is perhaps his most ambitious film. It could have been a simple tale about a dreamer setting out to make his vision come to fruition, but Miyazaki goes so much further than a live-action rendition would have dared. He takes his time not feeling the need to appeal to a younger audience. Instead, he lets the story develop as the character develops so the impact down the road in the film has a more impact. He is helped along the way by masterfully drawn sequences of imagination and horror. That is all topped off by a beautiful score by Joe Hisaishi his longtime composer collaborator. It evokes all the emotions felt by the main character of Jiro. There are different version of this to watch and being as I have always been impressed with the voice over work carefully crafted by Disney as the U.S. distributor, I watched the U.S. version with brilliant and a bit understated work by the likes of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Martin Short, Mandy Patinkin, Emily Blunt, and Stanley Tucci, probably the most flamboyant of the bunch. In all, I came away from this tale of a man’s journey to realize his dream of crafting airplanes to the best of his ability, moved and refreshed. The most mature animated film I have seen in ages.