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Howl's Moving Castle
(Hauru no ugoku shiro)

Screening on Film
$5 Weekend Matinee Admission or Free with Cambridge Public Library Card
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
With Emily Mortimer, Jean Simmons, Lauren Bacall.
Japan, 2004, 35mm, color, 119 min.
In English.
Print source: Gkids

Three years after winning an Academy Award for Spirited Away, Miyazaki delighted audiences with another stunning animation. Based on Diana Wynne Jones’ children’s book with the same title, the film differs in its message and shifts the focus to love, personal loyalty and the destructive effects of war. Sophie, who works in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl—voiced by Christian Bale. But after this chance meeting, the young girl is turned into a 90-year-old woman by the Witch of the Waste. Embarking on an incredible adventure to lift her curse, she finds refuge in what Roger Ebert calls “one of the great unique places in the movies,” Howl’s Moving Castle. As the true power of Howl’s wizardry is revealed, the young, greying heroine finds herself fighting to protect them both from a dangerous war of sorcery. Not only does Howl’s Moving Castle deserve its nomination for the Best Animated Feature Film at the 2006 Academy Awards, it deserves to be seen on the big screen—the only way to appreciate all of its remarkable details.

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