Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata’s 1980s family classic Only Yesterday has made its North American theatrical debut at New York’s IFC Center to enthusiastic critics and film fans. The new English language dub version features the voices of Star Wars: Force Awakens lead Daisy Ridley and Dev Patel, and is produced by Studio Ghibli in honor of the film’s 25th anniversary. A limited nationwide release will roll out February 26; participating theaters can be found at onlyyesterdayfilm.com.
It’s 1982, and Taeko (Daisy Ridley) is 27 years old, unmarried, and has lived her whole life in Tokyo. She decides to visit her relatives in the countryside, and as the train travels through the night, memories flood back of her younger years: the first immature stirrings of romance, the onset of puberty, and the frustrations of math and boys. At the station she is met by young farmer Toshio (Dev Patel), and the encounters with him begin to reconnect her to forgotten longings. In lyrical switches between the present and the past, Taeko contemplates the arc of her life, and wonders if she has been true to the dreams of her childhood self.