I guess I have to start with a confession that I'm a Japanese movie freak - just click on the "Movie Review" label on the sidebar, you'll see.
Seeing the number of critics on the world wide web, I can't help but put in a few words for "Departures". Sentimental - checked. Moving - checked. Great soundtrack - checked. More than competent direction - checked. Convincing acting - checked.
"Departures" has to be one of my favourite movies of the year, even better directed than "The Reader" - yes, you read that right the first time. Some say it's too long, I beg to differ, as in my view, its length is only necessary for completion, and I wouldn't change it one bit. Some say it's not an epic. Agreed totally, there are no great graphic or GCI, battle or truly profound, powerful scenes. But then, it has never set out to be one, in fact I could hardly name it an ambitious work, as the nature of its story deemed it otherwise. But it works; it does what it is supposed to do, objectives met, period.
By the way, the DVD is out finally, and I just watched my. And it seems only to get better. Go buy it! Watch it for yourself!