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Okuribito
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Departures (2008) More at IMDbPro »Okuribito (original title)

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Departures -- This is the trailer for Departures.

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   30,528 votes »
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Up 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Kundô Koyama (writer)
Contact:
View company contact information for Departures on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 September 2008 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The gift of last memories
Plot:
A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 33 wins & 6 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(40 articles)
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 (From Hitfix. 8 May 2014, 6:28 PM, PDT)

The Notable Films of 2011: Part One
 (From Dark Horizons. 13 December 2010, 7:39 AM, PST)

The Notable Films of 2011: Part One
 (From Dark Horizons. 13 December 2010, 7:39 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
A Nutshell Review: Departures See more (95 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Masahiro Motoki ... Daigo Kobayashi
Tsutomu Yamazaki ... Ikuei Sasaki
Ryôko Hirosue ... Mika Kobayashi
Kazuko Yoshiyuki ... Tsuyako Yamashita
Kimiko Yo ... Yuriko Uemura
Takashi Sasano ... Shokichi Hirata
Tetta Sugimoto ... Yamashita
Tôru Minegishi ... Yoshiki Kobayashi
Tatsuo Yamada ... Togashi
Yukari Tachibana
Tarô Ishida ... Sonezaki
Sanae Miyata ... Naomi Togashi
Ryôsuke Ôtani ... Tomeo's father
Mitsuyo Hoshino ... Kazuko Kobayashi
Tatsuhito Okuda
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Akemi Fuji
Miyako Hattori ... Grandmother
Mari Hayashida
Shinji Hiwatashi
Norichika Iimori
Yoko Imamoto
Kei Kawai
Yuji Kido ... Assistant Director
Hiroyuki Kishi ... Tomeyo's Uncle
Yukimi Koyanagi
Mina Kudo
Yuki Mashita
Kenzou Ryu
Pablo Sacco ... Instrument dealer
Sadami Sakamoto ... Orchestra Manager
Takejyu Sato ... Togashi's Relative
Sayuri Shirai ... Tomeo
Genjitsu Shu
Tarô Suwa
Ryôichi Suzuki
Yukiko Tachibana
Masaaki Takarai ... Miyuki's Boyfriend
Takao Toji
Rin Uchida ... Young Daigo
Atsushi Yamanaka
Miki Hayashida ... Okuyamakenomusume (uncredited)
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Directed by
Yôjirô Takita 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Kundô Koyama  writer

Produced by
Yasuhiro Mase .... executive producer
Toshiaki Nakazawa .... producer
Ichirô Nobukuni .... producer
Toshihisa Watai .... producer
 
Original Music by
Joe Hisaishi 
 
Cinematography by
Takeshi Hamada 
 
Film Editing by
Akimasa Kawashima 
 
Casting by
Takefumi Yoshikawa 
 
Production Design by
Fumio Ogawa 
 
Makeup Department
Etsuko Egawa .... special makeup effects artist
Isao Tsuge .... beauty director
 
Sound Department
Osamu Onodera .... sound editor
Satoshi Ozaki .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Hitoshi Takaya .... gaffer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Katsuhiko Kitamura .... costume supervisor
 
Editorial Department
Yoshiko Fumoto .... first assistant editor
 
Music Department
Hiroyuki Akita .... music engineer
Hiroyuki Akita .... music mixer
Nobuo Furukawa .... musician: cello
Joe Hisaishi .... conductor
Joe Hisaishi .... music arranger
Joe Hisaishi .... music producer
Joe Hisaishi .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Adam D. Wright .... distribution executive (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Okuribito" - Japan (original title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for thematic material
Runtime:
130 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Canada:G (British Columbia) | Canada:14A (Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Denmark:A | Finland:K-12 | Germany:o.Al. (f) | Hong Kong:IIA | Mexico:B | Netherlands:AL | New Zealand:M | Singapore:PG | South Korea:12 | Sweden:Btl | Switzerland:10 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:10 (canton of Vaud) | Taiwan:PG-12 | UK:12A | USA:PG-13 (certificate #45351)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Japan's contender for the 2009 foreign language Oscar.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Daigo Kobayashi:[voice over narration] When I was a child winter didn't feel so cold. It's nearly two months since I moved home from Tokyo. It's been an awkward time.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Jeopardy!: Episode #26.35" (2009)See more »
Soundtrack:
Wiegenlied, Op.49, No.4See more »

FAQ

What is this movie about?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Is "Okuribito" based on a book?
See more »
125 out of 148 people found the following review useful.
A Nutshell Review: Departures, 3 March 2009
Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore

By now almost everyone would have heard of this Japanese film Okuribito (Departures), given its win in the recent Academy Awards, clinching the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, beating the likes of crowd favourite Waltzing With Bashir, and the Palme D'or winner The Class. And now after watching it, it's no surprise really, because if I were to go tongue in cheek, it's the novelty factor, given that the Academy would never have conceived upon the notion that a film coming from Asia and filled with death, corpses and coffins, would be anything but a horror film. Seriously though, Departures have Awards written all over it, with fine acting complementing a strong story to tell.

I suppose the equivalent of a "casketer" in local context, would be the embalmer. And it's without a doubt a profession most misunderstood, and shunned because of our innate fear of death. We choose to avoid death where it had gone, and being an embalmer would unlikely be on any kid's wish list of professions. Despite the stereotypical negative connotations, it is a profession that is quite dignified, because the professional is entrusted with the responsibility of helping the loved ones of the deceased cope with the passing on, and to help ease the pain in bringing some colour before the final journey to either the burial ground, or crematorium.

Departures demystifies this profession in the Japanese context. And like all things Japanese, the process comes with an elaborate ritual of preparation, cleansing and presentation, all done with great precision, skillful grace and utmost respect for both the deceased, and the family members. The profession depicted here in the film, is one of the highest order, where we see exactly how the casketers go about their job, and the separation of duties with the undertaker.

Masahiro Motoki (last seen in The Longest Night in Shanghai) stars as the lead protagonist Daigo Kobayashi, a cellist in an orchestra who dreams of going places around the world with his wife Mika (Ryoko Hirosue) in tow. Unfortunately for him, his orchestra folds and he is forced to sell his expensive white elephant since he doubts he could make his passion into a successful career. Dejected, he convinces his wife to retreat back into the small town he came from, living in the house his late mother had left behind, in order to start a new life. Little did he know when responding to a job classifieds that a typo had given him the impression he would be in a career that involves travel. The boss of the shop Ikuei Sasaki (Tsutomu Yamazaki) hires him on instinct, and as the saying goes, the rest is history.

For the curious, the film is an excellent medium to showcase the profession and to do so in good light. We come to learn the craft behind the job, and the necessity of it all, be it dealing with grieving family members, or taking care of bodies that are bound for autopsies. Departures paints through Daigo's experience, the varying spectrum of emotions that one as a service provider would have to face, as we journey with him from novice level. All's not doom and gloom of course, as director Yujiro Takita paced the film with well meaning humour – again never slapstick or disrespectful – throughout the narrative.

The story by Kundo Koyama also excellently portrayed Daigo's relationships with his wife and with his mentor, where the former was like a rubber band waiting to snap because of Daigo's deliberate attempts to not tell his lovely wife what he's up to for a career in order to shield her from the taboo. With the latter from whom he picks up the tools of the trade from, there's a surrogate father figure which he never had while growing up, resulting in some pent up hatred toward his dad who walked out on the family when he was young.

It's an extremely moving piece of drama that doesn't get bogged down by melodrama, and I thoroughly enjoyed its themes of reconciliation, forgiveness and best of all, being a professional and serving with pride. It's a fantastically crafted film with an excellent cast all round, and shatters all taboos that come with the profession of a "casketer". I know it's cliché to say this, but Departures will be a strong contender when I compile my list of top films for the year. It's been some time already where I'm equally entertained and moved by a film, and without a doubt, do not let this depart from our local cinemas before you get a chance to watch it on the big screen. Highly recommended!

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Departures (2008)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Some of my reflections ayakian
'I hate myself' DukeBryant
The opening is extremely annoying nikolai_cheng
Two Questions about Japanese Culture In the Film eedan
This boring japanese kitsch beat 'Waltz with Bashir' to the title? jollyroger200
Did the wife drive anyone else crazy? Cat_of_the_Canals
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