Unmistakingly good, both in the simple but effective animation and in the story in the first half. Regrettably becomes too hectic for its own good in the second half. When the unlikely becomes expected, there is not much to be surprised by. 4 stars because it is still very good and a must watch but would probably deserve 3 if this was a more general review on the piece.
Beautifully animated, the main characters are interesting and unique. The tragic, sad, emotional and humorous (even hilarious) elements are craftily balanced. The only minor complain I have is that some coincidences that take place are extremely unlikely, and feel forced, but, after all it's a magical night... ;) The story is a reminder of a serious social problem (and stigma) in Japan - homelessness.
I watched this with two days left before it leaves MUBI this time around and wish I had watched it earlier in a better frame of mind. I didn't enjoy this as much as I wanted to, mainly because the story dived off at way too many tangents (Paprika did the same). Not as big a fan of the film as others here.
It's all a bit too pat, and the sexual politics of it don't ring true. There is tremendous humanity in this animation, and compassion and empathy. It's pointedly a little awkward. It sometimes smashes it, but I've seen better from Satoshi Kon and this one pales by comparison.
A gripping and moving Christmas movie with shades of Almodovar (All about my mother) produced by an anime genius. Redemption, love and miraculous coincidences abound, but the visceral and quirky depiction of homeless dereliction saves it from Hollywood sentimentality.
A nice story but I found it surprisingly formulaic considering what Satoshi Kon did with the mesmeric Paprika and Perfect Blue. The changes in tone from comedy to melodrama were a bit too screeching and the ending is overwrought, but the characters are beautifully drawn and their back stories splendidly realised. Not Kon's best but still worth seeing.
A film that really grew on me. Initially I found the characters a little irritating but by the end I was really rooting for them. Wish I had seen this during the festive season. The staggering number of coincidences in this film was a weakness but it is on the whole a hugely enjoyable film. Great to see the original version of a Japanese animation as opposed to the English language versions on Film4