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The Wind Rises

By REBECCA JACOBSON
Early in Hayao Miyazaki’s latest—and probably final—film, an earthquake strikes Tokyo. The earth buckles and writhes, rippling like a belly dancer’s abdomen. It’s a remarkably moving scene, both for its raw kinetic energy and for the clear sense of physical and human destruction. Alas, the rest of The Wind Rises, even as it showcases Miyazaki’s painterly hand-drawn animation, isn’t nearly so dynamic. And that’s in spite of a story that revolves around flight, the based-on-truth tale of an ace aeronautical engineer named Jiro. Born in 1903, Jiro’s devotion to airplanes gets him unwillingly swept up in the war machine: He travels to Germany to meet Nazi engineers and helps build machines that, no matter how beautiful, are designed to kill. There’s an interesting tension here between technology and totalitarianism, but Jiro is so thinly developed—he’s a genius at work and a sweet husband to his consumptive wife at home—that the question quickly evaporates. The film has a lovely melancholy, but that feels largely due to Miyazaki’s impending departure from cinema. He’ll be missed, even if The Wind Rises is a bumpy ride.
 
  • Genres: Anime, Biography, Historical drama
  • Running Time: 126 minutes
  • Release Date: Friday, May 9, 2014
  • Country: Japan
  • Language: Japanese
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 [ Smoking, Some Disturbing Images ]
  • Critic's Score: B-
  • Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt [Voice of Jiro Horikoshi], John Krasinski [Voice of Honjo], Emily Blunt [Voice of Nahoko Satomi], Martin Short [Voice of Kurokawa], Stanley Tucci [Voice of Caproni], Mandy Patinkin [Voice of Hattori], Werner Herzog [Voice of Castorp], William Macy [Voice of Satomi], Mae Whitman [Voice of Kayo Horikoshi], Jennifer Grey [Voice of Mrs. Kurokawa], Darren Criss [Voice of Jiro], Elijah Wood [Voice of Sone], Ronan Farrow [Voice of Mitsubbishi Employee], Zach Callison [Voice of Young Jiro], Eva Bella [Voice of Young Kayo], Madeleine Yen [Voice of Young Nahoko], Edie Mirman [Voice of Jiro's Mother], David Cowgill [Voice of Flight Engineer]
  • Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki [Director], Gary Rydstrom [Director], Hayao Miyazaki [Screenwriter], Toshio Suzuki [Producer], Koji Hoshino [Executive Producer], Geoffrey Wexler [Executive Producer], Frank Marshall [Executive Producer], Mike Jones [Screenwriter]
  • Visit the Movie Website | Watch the trailer
 

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