6.9/10
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Fune wo amu (2013)

Majime, an eccentric man in publishing company, who has unique ability of words, joins the team that will compile a new dictionary, 'The Great Passage.' In the eclectic team, he becomes ... See full summary »

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(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
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16 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Mitsuya Majime
...
Kaguya Hayashi
Joe Odagiri ...
Masashi Nishioka
...
Kouhei Araki
Gô Katô ...
Tomosuke Matsumoto
...
Midori Kishibe
Misako Watanabe ...
Take
Chizuru Ikewaki ...
Remi Miyoshi
Shingo Tsurumi ...
Director Murakoshi
Hiroko Isayama ...
Kaori Sasaki
Kaoru Yachigusa ...
Chie Matsumoto
Shôhei Uno ...
Shinichiro Miyamoto
Ryû Morioka ...
Egawa
Yoshiki Saitô ...
Kobayashi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kumiko Asô ...
Actress On Poster
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Storyline

Majime, an eccentric man in publishing company, who has unique ability of words, joins the team that will compile a new dictionary, 'The Great Passage.' In the eclectic team, he becomes immersed in the world of dictionaries. But the team is overwhelmed with problems. Will 'The Great Passage' ever be completed? Written by Nuno Ferreira

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Drama

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Release Date:

13 April 2013 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Great Passage  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The location of the house where Majime lives is in the Hongo district of Tokyo, near to Tokyo university. See more »

Connections

Version of The Great Passage (Fune Wo Amu) (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Warm, Funny, Charming, And A Class Act!
22 April 2016 | by See all my reviews

Viewed at CineMatsuri 2014 and on BRD. Winner of six Japanese Academy Awards (including: Best Picture; Best Director; Best Actor; and Best Screenplay). And it's easy to see why. One may quibble with the translated title, but not in the least with the quality of this compact and low-keyed, but audience-magnet of a motion picture. This unpretentious tale captures and distills basic cultural traits that helped Japan become the second largest global economy after losing WWII: perseverance and attention to even the smallest detail along, of course, with a lot of hard work and extreme patience. The story centers on a very shy, entry-level salary-man who is a lexicon geek. He is short-straw "selected" by his superiors at a book company to try to save and complete (or take the blame for ditching--there are a number of plot twists) a publishing project seemingly doomed from the start: a multi-year effort to develop a definitive, uniquely-fashioned, and marketable dictionary in hard-copy format! (The film seems to take place in the 1990's, so the age of free, online digital dictionaries has yet to dawn. But hand-held electronic dictionaries were already quite common.) A coming-of-age movie, but one that does not contains the usual trivia. This time out it includes a coming-of-age marked by confidence emerging from feelings of inferiority, leadership from passivity, maturation from micro interests (just compiling words) to macro concerns (writing, editing, and marketing dictionaries), and focused tenacity from just going (no where) with the flow. The movie also provides another indication that mature, quality films targeting grownups (and those who think like real adults) are returning to the Japanese cinema. Disc surround sound field (in 5.1 digital) and dialog looping are excellent. The lack of English subtitles on discs in current release is not all bad. Repeated viewings can help expand your understanding of informal, every-day conversational Japanese. The dialog is fairly straight forward and not too complex. It also contains very little slang. Plus the actors provide plenty of communication cues using body language (an acting technique found uniquely in most/all quality Japanese films, both "classical and "modern"). Not much more needs to be added given the film's acclaim and popularity (all screenings were sold out where I saw the movie). Oh yes, there is just one thing, an open question really: when will Shochiku Studio home video release this movie gem with English subtitles and the proper regional codes for USA players?! (Until then, be careful: there are many disc versions in release as of the time of this review, but--as far as I can discover--no DVDs using Region 1 (USA) encryption with English subtitles and no BRDs using Region A/1 (North America) encryption with English subtitles.) WILLIAM FLANIGAN, PhD.


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