Much has been written over the years about Hayao Miyazaki. Fans of his work speak of him in reverential tones. The richness of his characters, the beauty of his designs, the underlying themes of his stories merely hint at the complexity of his films, which consistently break Japanese box office records and, in the case of Spirited Away, have won an Academy Award. Add to this last year’s revelation that he was retiring, it’s understandable the commotion around his latest, and purportedly last feature, The Wind Rises, would be intense.
Yet in many ways, The Wind Rises is very different from Miyazaki’s other work, both in its story and in the controversy it has generated throughout Japan. Based on a real figure in Japanese history, aircraft engineer Jiro Horikoshi, The Wind Rises is a story of personal triumph and tragedy, both a fatal love story as well as a glimpse into Japanese society in the years leading up to World War II.
The Wind Rises has been picking up praise left, right, and center, and here is the first clip from the film:
A terrific voice cast has been brought together, as Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Stanley Tucci, and William H. Macy are all on board.
The Wind Rises has already picked up Best Animated Film gongs at the likes of the National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle, and New York Film Critics Online. It is also in the running for the Oscar.
The Best Animated Film category is a loaded field as Frozen, Despicable Me 2, The Croods and Ernest & Celestine.
The Wind Rises is released 9th May.