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When Marnie Was There

Nominated as Best Animated Feature at this year's Oscars, writer-director Hiromasa Yonebayashi's tender coming-of-age story is sensitively adapted from Joan G Robinson's book of the same name. Twelve-year-old Anna Sasaki (voiced by Sara Takatsuki) lives in Sapporo with her foster parents, but she remains emotionally aloof, conscious that they are only taking care of her because the state pays them. Following a severe asthma attack in the city, Anna's foster mother Yoriko (Nanako Matsushima) sends the girl to spend the summer with relatives Kiyomasa and Setsu Oiwa (Susumu Terajima, Toshie Negishi), who live by the sea where there is less smog. In this coastal idyll, Anna is inextricably drawn to a crumbling mansion, located across an overgrown salt marsh. She encounters a young girl called Marnie (Kasumi Arimura) and becomes drawn into the history of the mansion and the people who used to live there. An English language dubbed version of When Marnie Was There screens at selected cinemas.