When Marnie Was There
Hiromasa Yonebayashi, 2014 (103m)
Lonely pre-teen Anna prefers sketching and solitude to company; even when it comes to her evidently doting adoptive mother. When Anna suffers an asthma attack, her worried parents send her to rural Kushiro, where she happens upon a mysterious abandoned mansion and the equally enigmatic Marnie, a similarly aged girl with cascading blonde locks and old-fashioned attire. The two quickly become firm (and secret) friends but Marnie’s propensity for disappearing and reappearing suggest that she’s no ordinary 12-year-old. What’s more, she seems to induce memory loss in Anna, who wakes up after their encounters, inexplicably dirty or shoeless. Arriety director Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s Oscar nominated animation and Studio Ghibli's final film is a heartfelt and magical adaptation of Joan G. Robinson's classic novel.