Bil’s rating (out of 5):.
Original Title: Omoide no Mânî
An emotionally depressed adolescent has a difficult time connecting with her classmates, and her relationship with her mother is fraught with a tense lack of communication. Desperate to help get her back on track, Anna’s mother decides to send her to spend the summer with warmhearted relatives in the country, who take this unhappy twelve year-old at face value and treat her with a great deal of kindness and humour. Anna spends her days visiting the beach and drawing in her sketchpad, soon becoming aware of a beautiful old mansion that she sees across the lake, which she can’t resist the urge to explore. She is surprised when a pretty young lady comes out of the house and immediately befriends her, introducing herself as Marnie. The mysterious stranger becomes everything to Anna, inviting her to house parties and sharing secrets with her that become more strange as time passes, and our heroine starts to suspect that there is more to the story than she at first realized. This elegant melodrama, based on the novel by Joan Robinson, is something akin to Tom’s Midnight Garden with shades of Portrait of Jennie, a gentle fable about family and friendship etched in a delicate magic that touches the heart deeply by its very moving conclusion. The brightly colourful, elegant animation is enhanced by vibrant characters and a rich screenplay.