Your Name.

Your Name. ★★★★½

The credit for me watching this movie mainly has to go to a recent episode of Dan Murrell's new podcast/Youtube show All My Movies. Your Name. is a film that I had heard about previously, but it was that episode of that show that convinced me to finally give it a look, and I'm glad I did because this movie is really great. It's also one of the movies where the true joy of it lies in discovering its plot mechanics for yourself as it's all playing out before you, so I'm going to have to keep this as general as I can. So, okay, to be completely honest, the first half of this film did have me engaged and entertained, but I wasn't really seeing the greatness that so many people had lauded it for. However, once the movie reached its second half, that changed completely. The way that writer/director Makoto Shinkai lays out this story is sort of a masterclass of how a movie can play with your expectations. It's always a tricky thing when a movie needs to switch tones/story focus, but Your Name. is a film that succeeds with flying colors in doing so because the script is very effective in establishing its two main characters and getting us invested in them. As a result, the second half of the film is able to hit as powerfully as it does and adds another, deeper layer to the story that reveals its true power. On top of that, the movie is just animated gorgeously, to the point where it might honestly be one of the best-looking animated movies I've ever seen. Makoto Shinkai clearly has a great visual eye, and his uses of colors and detail in environments is pretty staggering, to the point where there are a few shots in here that I'd be happy to frame and put up on my wall. It's really made me want to check out more of Shinkai's work.

Your Name. is a movie that fully lived up to the hype while simultaneously surprising me. From the astounding visuals to the beautifully-told story, it's a movie that's automatically an easy recommendation to anyone. I really loved it.

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