When marnie Was There
Ghibli ghost story
released 10 June u | 103 minutes
Director Hiromasa Yonebayashi Cast Hailee steinfeld, Kiernan shipka, Grey Griffin, Geena davis
When Marnie Was There may be the last film from Ghibli, the studio which made anime epics like Spirited Away. But it’s on the other end of the scale. It’s an intimate, subtle story of a solitary girl travelling to a remote coastal village, meeting a mysterious girl surrounded by mist and marsh. Ah, but is this stranger (Marnie) a real girl at all?
It’s debatable whether this sometimes dreamlike, familyfriendly film is really a ghost story. The ending gives us some answers, but still leaves room for interpreting what we’ve seen – a bit like The Innocents without the menace. The slow pace reminds you of a vintage BBC drama.
But if you can take the dawdling, this is a lovely little film. When it comes to the mystery, viewers may twig early on, but that doesn’t matter: at heart this is a delicate story of a girl learning that everybody hurts, but that helping a friend can help save yourself. And the dubbed version, featuring Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) and Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men), is excellent. Andrew Osmond
The film is based on a rather forgotten 1967 British children’s novel by Joan Robinson, which is set in Norfolk.
Michael McIntyre’s act continued.