You may not know what When Marie Was There is about, strictly speaking, after watching the above trailer, which is a sort of music video set to Priscilla Ahn’s “Fine on the Outside,” but you should get a pretty good sense of the vibe of the film. For the plot, here’s the official summary of the book on which the film is based:
Anna hasn’t a friend in the world – until she meets Marnie among the sand dunes. But Marnie isn’t all she seems… An atmospheric ghost story with truths to tell about friendship, families and loneliness. Anna lives with foster parents, a misfit with no friends, always on the outside of things. Then she is sent to Norfolk to stay with old Mr and Mrs Pegg, where she runs wild on the sand dunes and around the water. There is a house, the Marsh House, which she feels she recognises – and she soon meets a strange little girl called Marnie, who becomes Anna’s first ever friend. Then one day, Marnie vanishes. A new family, the Lindsays, move into the Marsh House. Having learnt so much from Marnie about friendship, Anna makes firm friends with the Lindsays – and learns some strange truths about Marnie, who was not all she seemed…
When Marnie Was There is directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (The Secret World in Arrietty) and is coming out in Japan this summer, with a US release TBD.