Not a single word is spoken in the first U.S. trailer for legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki's final film, The Wind Rises — but the quotes attached to the movie speak loudly enough. Among praise that ranges from "visually gorgeous" to "awe-inspiring," one critic calls The Wind Rises "perhaps the greatest animated film the cinema has ever seen." Even if that's a tad hyperbolic, it should help the uninitiated see why expectations are so high.
A new film by Miyazaki is always reason to sit up and pay attention, but The Wind Rises attracted even more chatter than usual after Miyazaki announced it would be the final film of his almost 30-year career. The Wind Rises offers a fictional riff on the true-life story of Jiro Horikoshi, an engineer whose fighter planes composed the backbone of Japan's air forces in World War II. The decision to glorify a figure like Horikoshi has made The Wind Rises more controversial than most of Miyazaki's work — though not enough to stop it from earning a whopping $119.5 million gross in Japan alone, where it's the top movie of the year by a considerable margin.
Will The Wind Rises be met with similar controversy when it reaches the United States for a full run in February? Unfortunately, many of the details about the U.S. release of The Wind Rises remain shrouded in mystery. Though the film's festival screenings and Oscar-qualifying screenings left the original Japanese voice track intact, the full release will include both a subtitled version and one with English voices dubbed in. Miyazaki's films tend to attract a wide range of A-list English-speaking actors — previous releases have included Matt Damon, Christian Bale, and Claire Danes — but we still don't know which actors will be lined up for the film's U.S. release.
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