The Wind Rises was the best film I saw at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, and the audience at my screening gave it a rousing standing ovation. It was a lush, breathtaking, beautifully animated flight of fancy from director Hayao Miyazaki. The Wind Rises also marks the famed Japanese animation director’s final film, and he may have saved his best work for last. Time will only tell though if it meets the standards of Miyazaki classics like My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke.
Today, a new trailer for the film was released online and it looks at both the tranquil fantasy sequences and the harsher tragedy that ties this story to history. Based on a manga from Miyazaki himself, The Wind Rises tells the fictionalized biography of world-renowned plane designer Jiro Horikoshi. The film moves from his days as a childhood dreamer, wanting to build Japanese planes that can compete on the world stage, to his adult life when he falls in love with a young woman, Naoko, who has tuberculosis.
The long-awaited project got an Oscar-qualifying run last week and it will hit theatres in limited release on February 21 before expanding on the 28th.
The Wind Rises seems poised to get a nomination for best animated film (though it may have to fight off Disney’s Frozen for the prize). Although it is more mature with its subject matter than some of Miyazaki’s family-oriented dramas, it will likely have staying power at the box office, especially if it takes the Oscar. You can bet that I will be rooting for it. After all, what could be better than having one of cinema’s greatest animators accepting an award for his swan song?
Check out the trailer for The Wind Rises below and let us know what you think in the comments section.