From Up on Poppy Hill
Set in Yokohama in 1963, the latest animated feature from Studio Ghibli is a poignant teen love story, graceful, understated but full of feeling. Written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by his son Goro, the movie transports us to a bustling seaside town, with its misty harbor, sun-drenched gardens, shops and markets, and some of the most mouthwatering Japanese home-cooking set to film.
The story centers on an innocent romance between Umi and Shun, two high school kids caught up in the changing times. Japan is picking itself up from the devastation of World War II and preparing to host the 1964 Olympics - and the mood is one of both optimism and conflict as the young generation struggles to throw off the shackles of a troubled past. While the children work together to save a dilapidated Meiji era club house from demolition, their tentative relationship begins to blossom. But - in an unexpected twist that parallels what the country itself is facing - a buried secret from their past emerges to cast a shadow on the future and pull them apart.
"With its beautiful visuals and songs, Poppy Hill finds a deserving place among its Studio Ghibli peers."
"A beautifully artful, wistfully nostalgic coming of age romance!"