'Only Yesterday' - Movie Review

"Only Yesterday" was released in Japan in 1991, but only saw a North American release in 2016.

This is a very hard to describe movie. It appears to be about a young girl - 10 or 12 years old, depending on what part of the movie we're in. But it's surrounded, framed by scenes from the life of her 27 year-old self. The 27 year old is traveling to the country from her home in Tokyo to help with the Safflower harvest, but keeps reflecting back on her childhood. The visual styles of the two periods are significantly different: the scenes with children are often almost entirely bleached out, with only the characters being fully present. The countryside is gloriously beautiful (although the Anime style reflects the fact that this was made on a smaller budget and back in 1991 - we've come to expect more fluidity ...). But despite all the scenes with children, this is definitely a movie for adults - about the process of straightening out your head years later. Very little happens, but it's a quiet and insightful journey that I quite enjoyed.