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'When Marnie Was There' Review | The Reel Roundup

TRR: Two years ago, Studio Ghibli released The Wind Rises, the final bow from acclaimed Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki. Now comes quite possibly the last feature-length film from the legendary animation studio itself. Based on the novel by British author Joan G. Robinson, When Marnie Was There is a story of a depressed twelve-year-old girl named Anna (Sara Takatsuki), who moves from Sapporo to the seaside town of Kushiro for the Summer, where she comes across an abandoned house and its mysterious resident, a young girl named Marnie (Kasumi Arimura). What follows is as much a tender story of friendship as it is a ghostly tale. As Anna begins to spend more and more time with Marnie, she learns about her complicated family life; and gradually, Marnie's mysterious backstory begins to unravel. The result is a movie that takes its time unfolding, but the emotional payoff is well worth the wait. Unlike many of Studio Ghibli's most beloved films, the fantasy elements are kept to a minimum. Still, When Marnie Was There is a perfect example of just what makes Ghibli's films so wonderfully unique. It's beautiful to look at, and as touching as anything else they've released. Truly a fitting conclusion to the studio's thirty-year legacy.

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