Presented by film critics and writers in Tokyo, the Blue Ribbon Awards has announced its nominations for the 63rd edition honouring films released in 2020 which has admittedly been a difficult year though as the list of nominees demonstrates nevertheless a strong one for cinema. This year there will be no physical ceremony but the winners are expected to be announced in mid-February.
- True Mothers – heartbreaking drama from Naomi Kawase in which a young couple adopt a baby only for the birth mother to resurface
- The Asadas – latest from Ryota Nakano starring Kazunari Ninomiya inspired by the life of photographer Masashi Asada.
- Underdog – boxing drama from Masaharu Take.
- Ito – Heisei love story inspired by the classic Miyuki Nakajima song, directed by Takahisa Zeze, and starring Nana Komatsu & Masaki Suda
- A Beloved Wife – An unsuccessful screenwriter is henpecked by his understandably irate sake-guzzling wife in this autobiographical take on a toxic marriage.
- Kyou Kara Ore Wa!!: The Movie – big screen outing for the TV drama adaptation of the high school delinquent manga by Hiroyuki Nishimori directed by Yuichi Fukuda.
- Theatre: A Love Story – A self-obsessed writer slowly destroys the joy and hope of a woman he claims to love then turns it into art in Isao Yukisada’s dark romance
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train – record breaking movie of the hit TV anime in which a boy in the Taisho era tries to heal his younger sister after she is turned into a demon.
- The Confidence Man JP: Princess – sequel in which the gang of scammers try their luck in Malaysia
- Wife of a Spy – 8K wartime drama from Kiyoshi Kurosawa in which Yu Aoi tries to stop her husband Takahashi Issei from blowing the whistle after witnessing atrocity in Manchuria.
- The Voice of Sin – Shun Oguri stars as a reporter investigating a 30-year-old unsolved case.
- Any Crybabies Around? – a young man flees his family in embarrassment after going viral for getting drunk and being naked at a festival only to return two years later to make it up to them.
- First Love – boxing drama from Takashi Miike
- Fukushima 50 – Setsuro Wakamatsu draws inspiration from Ryusho Kadota’s nonfiction book to pay tribute to the workers who stayed behind during the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
- Mother – Masami Nagasawa stars as an abusive mother who pushes her teenage son towards murder.
- Mishima: The Last Debate – documentary focussing on Yukio Mishima’s address to the students at the University of Tokyo in 1969
- Midnight Swan – ex-SMAP member Tsuyoshi Kusanagi stars as a transgender woman who takes in a little girl neglected by her parents.
- Minoriyuku – drama about an apple farmer who was born with a stammer and dreams of becoming a comedian.
- Mio’s Cookbook – Haruki Kadokawa period drama in which a woman who lost her parents in a flood discovers a talent for cooking.
- Yowamushi Pedal – live action adaptation of the popular high school bicycle racing manga.
- Eiji Uchida (Midnight Swan)
- Naomi Kawase (True Mothers)
- Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Wife of a Spy)
- Nobuhiro Doi (The Voice of Sin)
- Ryota Nakano (The Asadas)
- Shun Oguri (The Voice of Sin)
- Tsuyoshi Kusanagi (Midnight Swan)
- Koichi Sato (Fukushima 50)
- Kazunari Ninomiya (The Asadas)
- Mirai Moriyama (Underdog)
- Yu Aoi (Wife of a Spy)
- Mana Ashida (Child of the Stars)
- Hiromi Nagasaku (True Mothers)
- Masami Nagasawa (Mother / Confidence Man JP: Princess)
- Asami Mizukawa (A Beloved Wife)
Best Supporting Actor
- Satoshi Tsumabuki (The Asadas / I Never Shot Anyone)
- Ryo Narita (The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese / Ito)
- Masahiro Higashide (Confidence Man JP: Princess / Wife of a Spy)
- Gen Hoshino (The Voice of Sin)
- Ken Watanabe (Fukushima 50)
Best Supporting Actress
- Sairi Ito (Theatre: A Love Story / Step / Junihitoe wo Kita Akuma / Hotel Royal)
- Nana Eikura (Ito)
- Haru Kuroki (The Asadas)
- Becky (First Love)
- Aju Makita (True Mothers)
- Daiken Okudaira (Mother)
- Sakurako Konishi (First Love)
- Nao (Mio’s Cookbook / Stigmatized Properties)
- Misaki Hattori (Midnight Swan)
- Hio Miyazawa (his)
- Nana Mori (Last Letter)
Best Foreign Film
- Mr Jones
- Never Look Away
- The Painted Bird
- Little Women
- The Kindness of Strangers
- Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey
- House of Hummingbird
- The Farewell
- Ford v Ferrari (AKA Le Mans ’66 in some territories)
- A Rainy Day in New York
- Wonder Woman 1984