Prestigious cinema magazine Kinema Junpo has released its always anticipated “Best 10” list for films released in 2019, the 93rd edition. Steamy drama It Feels So Good takes the top spot in a list which is (almost) entirely free of surprise awards juggernaut Fly Me to the Saitama.

1. It Feels so Good (火口の ふたり)

Steamy drama from Haruhiko Arai – screenwriter, critic, and editor of film magazine Eiga Geijutsu, starring Tasuku Emoto as a young man who’s lost his job and got divorced. Retreating to his hometown, he reconnects with an old flame (Kumi Takiuchi) in the days before her wedding to another man.

2. Another World (半世界)

Male friendship drama from Junji Sakamoto in which a traumatised soldier returns to his small town home and tries to reconnect with the friends of his youth.

3. From Miyamoto to You (宮本から君へ)

Sequel to a TV drama directed by Tetsuya Mariko (Destruction Babies) starring Sosuke Ikematsu as a shy salesman who falls for Yu Aoi’s office worker.

4. A Girl Missing (よこがお)

Drama from Koji Fukada in which a homecare nurse is implicated in the disappearance of her employer’s daughter.

5. Listen to the Universe (蜜蜂と遠雷)

Adaptation of Riku Onda’s novel following four aspiring concert pianists directed by Kei Ishikawa (Gukoroku: Traces of Sin)

6. Farewell Song (さよならくちびる)

Love triangle drama from Akihiko Shiota in which a two-piece folk band (Nana Komatsu & Mugi Kadowaki) go on one last tour with a male roadie (Ryo Narita) who disrupts their dynamic.

7. One Night (ひとよ)

Drama from Kazuya Shiraishi in which a scattered family reunites 15 years after one traumatic night.

8. Just Only Love (愛がなんだ)

Rikiya Imaizumi adapt’s Mitsuyo Kakuta’s novel in which a lovelorn office lady (Yukino Kishii) gets into a casual relationship with a colleague (Ryo Narita) but gradually realises he’s just not that into her.

9. RANDEN: The Comings and Goings on a Kyoto Tram (嵐電)

Three stories of love occur along the the iconic Kyoto tramline as a writer from Kamakura searches for a ghost train while recalling memories of his wife, a local girl helps a Tokyo actor master the Kyoto accent, and a girl from Aomori falls for a trainspotter!

10. To the Ends of the Earth (旅のおわり世界のはじまり)

Kiyoshi Kurosawa reunites with recent muse Atsuko Maeda as a lost TV presenter goes searching for herself while filming in Uzbekistan.

Best 10 International

  1. Joker
  2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  3. The Irishman
  4. The Mule
  5. Green Book
  6. Sorry We Missed You
  7. Cold War
  8. Roma
  9. An Elephant Sitting Still
  10. Burning

Best 10 Documentaries

  1. i -Documentary of the Journalist- (i-新聞記者ドキュメント-, Tatsuya Mori)
  2. Fukushima Speaks (福島は語る, Toshikuni Doi) 
  3. Jinsei wo Shimau Toki (人生をしまう時間(とき), Sachiko Shimomura)
  4. Yamafutokoro ni Idakarete (山懐に抱かれて, Takashi Endo)
  5. Planet of the Crabs (蟹の惑星, Hiroyasu Murakami)
  6. Sakubei and the Mining of Japan (作兵衛さんと日本を掘る, Hiroko Kumagai)
  7. Tokyo High Tide (東京干潟, Hiroyasu Murakami))
  8. Dare ga Tame ni Kenpo wa Aru (誰がために憲法はある, Junichi Inoue)
  9. America ga Mottomo Osoreta Otoko: Kamejiro – Fukutsu no Shogai (米軍(アメリカ)が最も恐れた男 カメジロー不屈の生涯, Tadahiko Sato)
  10. Korean Schools in Japan (アイたちの学校, Ko Chanyu)

Readers’ Best 10 (Japan)

  1. Another World (半世界)
  2. Sea of Revival (凪待ち)
  3. The Journalist (新聞記者)
  4. One Night (ひとよ)
  5. Weathering with You (天気の子)
  6. Just Only Love (愛がなんだ)
  7. Typhoon Family (台風家族)
  8. From Miyamoto to You (宮本から君へ)
  9. A Girl Missing (よこがお)
  10. Talking the Pictures (カツベン!)

Readers’ Best 10 (International)

  1. Joker
  2. Green Book
  3. The Mule
  4. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  5. Roma
  6. The Irishman
  7. Capernaum
  8. The Favourite
  9. Sorry We Missed You
  10. Cold War

Individual Awards

Best Director: Kazuya Shiraishi (One Night, Sea of Revival, A Gambler’s Odyssey 2020)

Best Screenplay: Junji Sakamoto (Another World)

Best Director (international): Todd Phillips (Joker)

Best Actress: Kumi Takiuchi (It Feels So Good)

Best Actor: Sosuke Ikematsu (From Miyamoto to You)

Best Supporting Actress: Chizuru Ikewaki (Another World)

Best Supporting Actor: Ryo Narita (Just Only Love, Farewell Song, Chiwawa, Fly Me to the Saitama, No Longer Human)

Best Newcomer (actress): Nagisa Sekimizu (Almost a Miracle)

Best Newcomer (actor): Oji Suzuka (Listen to the Universe, The 47 Ronin in Debt)

Readers’ Choice Best Director: Junji Sakamoto (Another World)

Readers’ Choice Best Director (international): Todd Phillips (Joker)

Readers’ Choice Award: RHYMESTER Utamaru / Kazuko Misawa

Special Award: Makoto Wada

Source: Kinema Junpo official website.

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