I’m sort of a career goof, and so I have a natural inclination toward characters who are also career goofs. Meaning, there’s more than one reason why I compare Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s Mary and the Witch’s Flower to Harry Potter. There’s the obvious reason – they’re both about schools for young witches! – and there’s the secondary reason, which is that Mary, like Harry, has a way of fucking up even when she tries her hardest to help others in earnest. (Their names also rhyme. Swoosh.)
For the time being I’m not certain Mary and the Witch’s Flower will play anywhere at a theater near you – most likely it’s playing exclusively in New York and L.A. – but if the film ends up in your neighborhood, check it out. It’s a gem. I reviewed it for Paste Magazine for that precise reason. I like gems! Go figure.