'When Marnie Was There' - Movie Review

Hiromasa Yonebayashi's 2014 Anime movie is set in modern Japan, a coming-of-age tale about a young asthmatic girl who has significant problems with self-esteem. Her adaptive mother sends her to the country to spend the summer with relatives. She sees a lovely but abandoned house on the edge of a sea marsh, and when she visits, she meets Marnie. It soon becomes clear to us that Marnie probably doesn't actually exist, but it's quite a while before that's brought to resolution. The explanation made the film a whole lot better, but that also meant that it was ... kind of irritating for most of an hour. I didn't think the movie held up well in the long stretch where Marnie's appearances and disappearances were unexplained: the resolution was elegant, but the body of the film was at best so-so. Pretty to look at, but not up there with "Arrietty" or the best of Miyazaki in the visuals department either.