A series of excellent photos of Kokuriko/From Up on Poppy Hill were posted alongside Leonardo Flores' enthusiastic review. He notes the film's strong parallels with Mimi wo Sumaseba and Omohide Poro Poro, and it does appear to hew closer to Isao Takahata's everyday realism than Father Miyazaki's surrealist escapism. This is the direction that Ghibli wishes to explore for now, fueled in large part by the shock of this year's massive earthquake and nuclear crisis.
While Kokuriko has very stiff competition at the Japanese box office - the "final" Harry Potter movie, and the latest Pokemon commercial - I expect it to be very successful, and Goro Miyazaki's reputation will be, to a great extent, redeemed. People will give him a second look, and they may become comfortable with the idea of his inheriting his father's famous movie studio. He has grown tremendously these last four years, and he is now emerging as a confident filmmaker in his own right. Let's cross our fingers and hope for the best.