Jeffrey Overstreet reviews Departures and The Song of Sparrows, two films that I’m extremely eager to see. Departures won last year’s Oscar for best foreign film; The Song of Sparrows is the latest from Majid Majidi, who directed The Color of Paradise, one of my favorite films of all time.
Movies about employment tend to give us rags-to-riches success stories: Young people with a dream overcome impossible odds and prove the naysayers wrong, earning fortune and glory through determination. But is that really the story we need right now? Maybe there’s something more useful than the assurance that we’ll all get our dream jobs, we’ll all succeed, we’ll all step into the spotlight if we just keep on trying.
This summer, two extraordinary new films offer moviegoers very different visions of success. Their characters learn hard lessons about humility, as their dreams come crashing down (in one case, quite literally). But they also learn a thing or two about finding fulfillment in something more than spotlights and paychecks.