When Marnie Was There is a 2014 animated film, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi of Studio Ghibli. It's basedon the 1967 novel by Joan G. Robinson.
The story is about Anna, a very shy and awkward young girl whose aunt adopts her after her family members pass away. She suffers from severe asthma, and moves out to the country with some relatives for the summer. There, she comes across a beautiful mansion and a lonely girl named Marnie, and the two become fast friends. But there's something not quite right...
This is one of the best films I have ever seen, regardless of genre. I was hooked from the very beginning, and was drawn in even more by the subtle but enthralling mystery that is Marnie. I'm not ashamed to admit that I weeped like a little baby for probably the last 15 minutes of the film. This deeply touched me in a way that doesn't happen very often at all.
The animation is beautiful and the characters are very relatable. I feel like I really connected to Anna on a personal level. I've always been shy, and I've had health issues from a young age. I had trouble making friends because I was different, and when I did make a really good friend, I too felt somewhat jealous when their attention turned to someone else. All of these things felt extremely real.
This film is rated PG and has a running time of 103 minutes. I absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a heartwarming film of loss, friendship, and family. This is a lovely film.
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