The Great Passage

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The great passage film still
Japan 2013 Rated PG 133:00 Japanese w/ English subtitles Toronto Premiere

Majime is an eccentric young man and struggling salesman with a major publishing company. His linguistics qualifications and his tenacity catch the attention of Nishioka and Araki, dictionary editors seeking a replacement for Araki himself, who needs to spend more time at his ailing wife’s bedside. Together, they embrace the ambitious task of creating a new dictionary called The Great Passage, in an attempt to reconnect people with the magic and romance of words.

Meanwhile, back at his at the rooming house, Majime meets Kaguya, his landlady’s granddaughter, who has just returned from culinary school. Her beauty, charm, and dedication to gourmet pursuits soon melt Majime’s heart. When Matsumoto, the chief editor, learns of the chemistry between the two, he asks Majime to write the definition for the word “Love.”

Based on Shion Miura’s best-selling novel, this gently absorbing drama features an all-star cast and a healthy undercurrent of quirky humour that celebrates ordinary people locked in decidedly glorious endeavours. The Great Passage has been selected as the Japanese entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards.

- JH