Rated PG-13 2009

A concert cellist loses his orchestra job and retreats with his wife to his home town in northeastern Japan, where he inadvertently answers a help wanted ad and takes a job as a nokanshi, or “encoffineer” — the traditional ritual of preparing a corpse for cremation. The new job changes his outlook on life, naturally. Terrific performance by Masahiro Motoki as the initially befuddled Daigo, with warm-hearted support by Tsutomu Yamazaki as the circumspect master. Directed movingly by Yojiro Takita from a screenplay by Jo Hisaishi (130 min.).



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