Just watched this film and thought it was sad and beautiful, and very unique. It's basically about a man who unwittingly gets a job as a preparer of the departed, and performs a ceremony of dressing the bodies and applying makeup as the family of the deceased look on. The ritual itself is a thing of beauty and deep respect--something the Japanese culture is known for. There are moments of well-placed humor to offset the somber tone, and the subjects of life, death, dreams, and relationships (especially with his wife) are told in a way that's anything but boring. But I wanted to comment on the music here.
There's a great cello theme that plays recurrently through the movie:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiyFeT0T … re=related
It took me a while to warm up to it, but by the end it had nestled comfortably in my brain and is there to stay. I don't keep up with Joe Hisaishi's music outside of the Ghibli films, so it was a pleasant surprise for me.