By Owen Gleiberman
May 27, 2009 at 04:00 AM EDT

Departures

B-

In Departures, this year’s Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, a ?cellist with daddy issues named Daigo (Masahiro Motoki) loses his orchestral gig and lands a job preparing corpses for the ritual Japanese ceremony of encoffination. Like Sunshine Cleaning, this is a gentle comic tale of grisly ?employment opportunity in desperate times. Only Departures is tender and, at times, rather squishy. It’s sure to squeeze the tear ducts of anyone who has lost a parent (hence that Oscar). But Motoki, a droll actor, gives Daigo’s embrace of the ”normality” of death ?a stubborn, touching dignity. B?

Departures

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  • St. Martin's Press
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