這部電影由擅長喜劇片與科幻片的導演瀧田洋二郎 (Yojiro Takita) 所執導，光在日本當地就累積了三十億日圓的票房。劇情以一位失業的大提琴家為主角，在無意間踏入了殯葬業，起初他很不排拒這個行業，但是最後卻做的相當稱職。
片中由本木雅弘 (Daigo Kobayashi) 所飾演的主角大悟 (Masahiro Motoki)，因為原先所參加的管弦樂團解散而失業。他把昂貴的大提琴變賣後，帶著妻子美香 (Mika) 搬回到北方下雪的小鎮，而這也是大悟的故鄉，兩人打算展開新生活。由於看到一則奇怪的求職廣告〝旅途協助〞並前往應徵，大悟變成了禮儀師學徒，而且他自己覺的有必要隱瞞妻子這件事情。
※ 正式定稿與影像：「 新唐人電視台 ─ 娛樂新幹線 225 」
※ The original article was taken from Reuters Website. ( 原文取自路透社網站 )
INTRO: Oscar nod sheds light on Japanese death rituals. Oscar-nominated director offers a glimpse into the esoteric world of Japanese morticians
STORY: Preparing corpses for the coffin is not the most glamorous of professions, but an Oscar nomination for "Departures" has thrown an unexpected spotlight on the hidden world of the Japanese mortician.
Director Yojiro Takita (pronounced Yoh-jee-roh Tah-kee-tah), a veteran of comedy and fantasy movies, scored a 3 billion yen (33.5 million U.S. dollars) domestic hit with this tale of an out-of-work cellist who stumbles into a job that at first disgusts him, but gradually becomes a vocation.
Now boasting an Academy Award nomination for best foreign film, the movie is set for a wider audience, with screenings planned in 29 countries."It was a surprise. But it confirmed to me the power of movies to break past the barriers of language. Also I think that it's also a recognition of all hard work my staff and casts put in it and that pleases me a lot," Takita said in an interview with Reuters on Thursday (January 29). (shows 3)
The film's hero, Daigo Kobayashi (pronounced Dah-ee-goh Koh-bah-yah-shee), played by Masahiro Motoki (pronounced Mah-sah-hee-roh Moh-toh-kee), finds himself jobless when the orchestra he plays with is disbanded. He sells his expensive cello and he and his wife Mika move to the snowy northern town where he grew up, in an attempt to start a new life. Answering a mysterious ad for "help with journeys" lands him a post as an apprentice mortician, something he feels obliged to hide from his wife.
Unlike their counterparts in many countries, Japan's "nokanshi" perform cleansing and beautifying services in the presence of the bereaved family, in a ritual that must combine an atmosphere of sympathy and reverence with a magician's sleight of hand. "I knew there was such a profession, but I had no idea exactly what they did, " he said."I think in many countries around the world those people who work with death generally tend to be seen with some sort of disgust. But there is a certain drama involved in their work, So as a movie director, I wanted to peek into a world that people don't normally see." (shows 5)
This year's Oscar winners are set to be announced on February 22 in Hollywood.