A troubled orphan befriends a mysterious blonde in Hiromasa Yonebayashi's "When Marnie Was There."
A troubled orphan befriends a mysterious blonde in Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s “When Marnie Was There.”

“When Marnie Was There,” a new animated film from Japan, is now playing at Landmark’s Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Los Angeles (just west of the 405 Freeway), through Wednesday, May 27.

The English dubbed version will be shown at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, 12 and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday; the Japanese version with subtitles will be shown daily at 5, 7:30 and 9:50 p.m.

Anna is a troubled, lonely 12-year-old orphan who calls her kindly adoptive mother “aunt.” Sent from her foster home in the city one summer to a sleepy town by the sea for her health (and, her mother hopes, to make new friends), Anna is drawn to a magnificent, apparently deserted mansion in the marshes.

There she encounters Marnie, a mysterious but outgoing blonde, and they become friends. “Let’s keep us a secret forever,” says Marnie, and Anna agrees. Soon Anna is telling Marnie things she never told anyone, while Marnie introduces her to the nighttime revels at the villa, presided over by her stylish socialite mother. Yet Marnie’s frequent unexplained absences make Anna wonder about her newfound friend.

Based on a novel by Joan G. Robinson and animated in a beautiful world that seems to capture both dreams and reality, this Studio Ghibli release is the second feature by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, director of “The Secret World of Arrietty.”

The voice cast includes Sara Takatsuki, Kasumi Arimura, Hana Sugisaki, Hitomi Kuroki, Ryoko Moriyama, Nanako Matsushima, Susumu Terajima, Toshie Negishi, and Kazuko Yoshiyuki.

The English version features the voices of Hailee Steinfeld, Kiernan Shipka, John C. Reilly, Vanessa Williams, Geena Davis, Kathy Bates, Ellen Burstyn, and Catherine O’Hara.

For more information, call (310) 473-8530 or visit http://www.landmarktheatres.com/los-angeles/nuart-theatre.

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