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Spirited Away

2001 film

Watched 11 September 2016

Instead of just being weird for weird’s sake (I’m looking at you, Alice in Wonderland), the bizarre setting is used to amplify the emotional punch of the story. Everything is there for a reason, and it all feels seamless and coherent. The writing is never preachy or heavy-handed, while delivering fascinating character development. A masterclass in “show, don’t tell”. Above all, I love the optimism this film places in the power of kindness. Such a simple, powerful concept — so well executed.

About star ratings

My ratings are subjective. I’m not aiming for a perfect ranking of comparative artistic merit, just trying to represent how I feel about stuff. Here’s what they mean:

Personal favorite. I simply love it, warts and all.
Something special. Highly recommended.
Good, but unremarkable. I’ll probably forget about it.
A waste of time. Not recommended.
Practically insulting. Soulless garbage. (Rare!)