I saw this movie at the Waterfront Film Festival in Saugatuck, MI. It was so well done. The producer was there and to everyones surprise, he was American. He explained to us that Ken Watanabe is like Clint Eastwood over in Japan. He said that Ken was reading the book of this story and really wanted to make it. He also said that the Japanese have only really seen him do Samurai movies and that this was apart from what they usually see him in. This movie won the Japanese equivalent to the best motion picture Oscar. But of course here, no nod in the foreign film category. It is emotionally stirring, visually stunning and extremely well acted. There is no moment in the film where things feel sappily cliché' or manipulative. It is a pure film about its topic. I would definitely recommend this to anyone. Please watch, and enjoy.
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