|The Wind Rises|
With The Wind Rises, Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki has achieved a feat befitting a master: he has crafted his final film into an elegiac farewell that at once communicates what it means to be an artist, while also being an artistic triumph itself. When I urge friends to see it, they deride the notion that a “cartoon” could be good. Pity. This animated movie is a feast for the eyes, ears, and heart, with narrative magic married to tonal complexities to form a sublime milieu. It's not a perfect movie, though, and its romantic idealism tries to find redeeming grace among irredeemable evils. It simultaneously breaks your heart and renews your belief in the transcendence of the human spirit.