In director Hayao Miyazaki’s enchanting and somber The Wind Rises, Jiro, a character based on one of the designers of WWII Japanese bombers, shares his dreams with Caproni, an Italian airplane builder who intends to retire near film’s end. As it turns out, The Wind Rises is allegedly the last animated feature from Miyazaki, the legendary animation director of such films as Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo. Like the grandiose Caproni, the builder of airplane dreams in his latest feature, the 73 year-old Miyazaki plans to call it a day. If this is, indeed, his final film, he’s going out on a very high note, for sure. The film is a bittersweet mix of the joy of creation dream fulfillment, and how innocent dreams can sometimes foster terrible destruction. Miyazaki avoids politics for the most part, but there’s an underlying sadness in Jiro and the movie. It’s a beautifully made, complex film, far more than your average animated movie. The English dubbed version features the voices of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt and Martin Short.

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