STAMFORD, Conn. -- Currently playing at Stamford’s Avon Theater is the brilliantly animated film, "The Wind Rises," which is the final film of the noted filmmaker, Hayao Miyazaki (Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away).
The film is a fictionalized account of the real-life Jiro Horikoshi (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), chief designer of Japan’s notorious World War II Mitsubishi A6M, also known as the Zero. In the early days of the war, it dominated the skies over the Pacific.
The film begins with a young Jiro dreaming of flying, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical engineer, Giovanni Battista Caproni (voiced by Stanley Tucci), whom he meets throughout the film in a number of inspired dream sequences. Jiro goes on to study aeronautics and, upon graduating from university, joins eventually Mitsubishi and becomes one of the world’s most innovative and accomplished designers.
The film chronicles much of his life, depicting key historical events, including the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, Japan’s tuberculosis epidemic as well as the country’s plunge into World War II, doing so in such a fanciful, lighthearted way.
Miyazaki ‘s script is based on Tatsuo Hori’s short novel "Kaze Tachinu" ("The Wind Rises"), delivering to us an epic tale of love, perseverance, and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world.
The Avon Theater is located at 272 Bedford St., Stamford.
"The Wind Rises" (2 hours, 26 Minutes) is rated PG-13 and runs through March 13. It stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Martin Short and Stanley Tucci and is directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
Norwalk resident Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews through his website.