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Only Yesterday(おもひでぽろぽろ)

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Japan · 1991
Rated PG · 1h 58m
Director Isao Takahata
Starring Miki Imai, Toshirō Yanagiba, Yoko Honna, Mayumi Iizuka
Genre Animation, Drama, Romance

Taeko is 27 years old, unmarried, and a career woman through and through. While visiting her family in the countryside, she finds herself daydreaming about her childhood. As memories of her youth come flooding back to her, she wonders if she's living the life her childhood self would have wanted.

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100 by Glenn Kenny

Like “Kaguya,” it functions as a highly sensitive and empathetic consideration of the situation of women in Japanese society—but it’s also a breathtaking work of art on its own.


The Playlist by Kevin Jagernauth

With Only Yesterday, Takahata not only succeeds in transmitting how years can flash by, but also the way that passage of time makes clearer the moments that define our character, and go on to influence how we choose to live later.


Washington Post by Michael O'Sullivan

Small moments take on larger meaning in this exquisite memoir. That’s as true of the plot — in which nothing terribly significant happens, except life — as it is of the visuals.


The Film Stage by Michael Snydel

Only Yesterday is unabashedly modest, but in its twin dialogues between the past and the present, and the undying lure of the country and the city, it’s a singularly specific story whose message echoes decades later.


The New York Times by Nicolas Rapold

Mr. Takahata’s psychologically acute film, which was based on a manga, seems to grow in impact, too, as the adult Takao comes to a richer understanding of what she wants and how she wants to live.


Slant Magazine by Oleg Ivanov

It uses the trappings of the family melodrama to reveal the subtle social constraints that inhibit people, particularly women, from attaining full self-realization.


Boston Globe by Ty Burr

Takahata and his animators balance aspects of nostalgia and the present day, urban modernity and rural timelessness, love and regret with a visual and aural sensitivity that draws a viewer in from the first frames.

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