Your Name. ★★★★½

I am sometimes a little nervous about the possibility of overrating films when I foray into unfamiliar genres, because there's always the risk of disrespect. Is "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" really the greatest wuxia film ever made? Probably not, but all I know is that it breaks my fucking heart every time. Likewise, as a former hip-hop head who grew up in the 90's, it pisses me off when young hipsters who look at me blankly at the mention of "Illmatic" nonetheless insist with the utmost confidence that every new Kanye West album is the greatest hip-hop album ever.

I don't want to be that Kanye-loving hipster, so without calling "Your Name" a masterpiece, I will say that the film is an impossibly beautiful accomplishment, with a lightness of touch and kindness of spirit that rivals the best of Ghibli.

It starts with a gender-swapping premise that avoids crass laughs in favor of a more general exploration of the constricting nature of social roles, gender and otherwise. "Avoids crass laughs" seems weird to say when there is a running gag in which the girl gropes her own breasts, but there is zero titillation involved, and the humor instead comes from our own memories of the awkwardness of emerging adolescent sexuality. This is emblematic of a film that, in spite of its ambitious premise, prioritizes subtlety over loud moments. There is really not a mean-spirited bone in this movie's body.

And as "Your Name" progresses, it ultimately becomes about the undeniable charge of opening up to someone with one's deepest insecurities and being wholeheartedly accepted in return. That even if we know rationally that the concept of a "soulmate" is bunk, there is always the chance of that one encounter which leads us to no other conclusion than destiny, even if it goes against all common sense. Set against the backdrop of its unexpectedly epic final act (which I absolutely won't spoil), the result is sigh-inducingly romantic.