Presented by film critics and writers in Tokyo, the Blue Ribbon Awards has announced its nominations for the 62nd edition which honours films released in 2019. In addition to nominating a “best” picture, the best film long list will also be whittled down to a “best 10” when the polls close later this month. Winners are usually announced in advance of the prize giving ceremony which this year takes place on 18th February.
Best Film / “Best 10”
- The Great War of Archimedes – wartime drama from the director of The Eternal Zero starring Masaki Suda as a maths genius trying to expose corruption in the military.
- Welcome Back, Tora-san – 50th anniversary tribute to Yoji Yamada’s long running Tora-san series.
- It Feels So Good – steamy drama from screenwriter Haruhiko Arai in which a bride-to-be (Kumi Takiuchi) reconnects with an old flame (Tasuku Emoto)
- Talking the Pictures – Masayuki Suo’s tribute to the age of the “benshi” silent movie narrator.
- Hit Me Anyone One More Time – latest from Koki Mitani in which a man gets a blow on the head and loses his memory only to be told he is actually the prime minister of Japan!
- Kingdom – “wuxia” manga adaptation from blockbuster maestro Shinsuke Sato.
- The Confidence Man JP – big screen outing for a TV drama starring Masami Nagasawa as a conwoman.
- The Bucket List – Isshin Inudo’s remake of the US comedy starring Sayuri Yoshinaga and Yuki Amami as two terminally ill women who find the bucket list of a 12-year-old girl and decide to follow it.
- 12 Suicidal Teens – 12 depressed teens meet in a disused hospital to die but discover new will to live after investigating a murder.
- The Journalist – political thriller starring Shim Eun-kyung as a reporter attempting to expose governmental corruption and Tori Matsuzaka as a conflicted civil servant.
- Typhoon Family – family drama in which siblings reunite 10 years after their parents robbed a bank and disappeared.
- Weathering with You – latest animation from Makoto Shinkai in which a boy runs away from home and meets a girl who can control the weather.
- Fly Me to the Saitama – broad comedy in which the residents of Saitama have become an oppressed minority.
- Sea of Revival – drama from Kazuya Shiraishi in which a man moves back to his partner’s home town but finds that trouble follows him.
- Another World – Three high school buddies reunite in their small-town home hoping to restore the easy bond of their adolescence while battling middle-aged disappointment in the latest from Junji Sakamoto.
- One Night – drama from Kazuya Shiraishi in which a scattered family reunites 15 years after one traumatic night.
- Closed Ward – drama in which a murder occurs at a psychiatric hospital.
- Masquerade Hotel – mystery starring Takuya Kimura as a detective working undercover at a hotel where he clashes with front desk manager Masami Nagasawa as they try to catch a serial killer.
- Listen to the Universe – adaptation of Riku Onda’s novel following four aspiring concert pianists directed by Kei Ishikawa (Gukoroku: Traces of Sin)
- From Miyamoto to You – 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.
- Shinsuke Sato (Kingdom)
- Kazuya Shiraishi (A Gambler’s Odyssey 2020, Sea of Revival, One Night)
- Makoto Shinkai (Weathering with You)
- Hideki Takeuchi (Fly Me to the Saitama)
- Tetsuya Mariko (From Miyamoto to You)
- Shingo Katori (Sea of Revival)
- Masaki Suda (The Great War of Archimedes)
- Kiichi Nakai (Hit Me Anyone One More Time)
- Ryo Narita (Talking the Pictures)
- Tori Matsuzaka (The Journalist, Iwane: Sword of Serenity)
- Yu Aoi (A Long Goodbye)
- Masami Nagasawa (The Confidence Man JP)
- Fumi Nikaido (Fly Me to the Saitama)
- Mayu Matsuoka (Listen to the Universe)
- Riho Yoshioka (Blind Witness)
- Sayuri Yoshinaga (The Bucket List)
Best Supporting Actor
- Go Ayano (Closed Ward)
- Itsuji Itao (My Father, the Bride; The 47 Ronin in Debt)
- Kiyohiko Shibukawa (Another World, Closed Ward)
- Ryo Narita (Chiwawa, Fly Me to the Saitama, Farewell Song, No Longer Human)
- Tori Matsuzaka (Listen to the Universe)
- Ryo Yoshizawa (Kingdom)
Best Supporting Actress
- Yuki Amami (The Bucket List)
- Chizuru Ikewaki (Another World)
- Nana Komatsu (Samurai Marathon, Closed Ward)
- Masami Nagasawa (Masquerade Hotel, Kingdom)
- Mayu Matsuoka (One Night)
- MEGUMI (Typhoon Family; Little Nights, Little Love; One Night)
- Kaya Kiyohara (Aiuta: My Promise To Nakuhito, Day and Night, Strawberry Song)
- Oji Suzuka (Listen to the Universe, The 47 Ronin in Debt)
- Nagisa Sekimizu (Almost a Miracle)
- Tina Tamashiro (Chiwawa, Diner, Flowers of Evil, Hell Girl)
- Kanata Hosoda (Almost a Miracle)