The Blue Ribbon Awards, presented by film critics and writers in Tokyo, has announced the winners for the 63rd edition which honours films released in 2020. Fukushima 50, a tense dramatisation of the efforts to mitigate the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, takes Best Film while Ryota Nakano takes home Best Director for The Asadas, Masami Nagasawa picks up Best Actress for her second consecutive year reprising her role in The Confidence Man JP, and Tsuyoshi Kusanagi takes Best Actor for his role as a transgender woman. Owing to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there will be no physical ceremony for this year’s awards.
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.
Presented in no particular order.
- 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
- 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
- Wife of a Spy – 8K wartime drama from Kiyoshi Kurosawa in which Yu Aoi tries to stop her husband Issey Takahashi 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.
- 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.
- Midnight Swan – ex-SMAP member Tsuyoshi Kusanagi stars as a transgender woman who takes in a little girl neglected by her parents.
Best 10 Runners up
Presented in no particular order
- 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..
- The Confidence Man JP: Princess – sequel in which the gang of scammers try their luck in Malaysia
- 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
- 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
- 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 / The 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 (The 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
Foreign Film Best 10
13 because of multiple ties. Presented in no particular order
- Never Look Away
- Little Women
- House of Hummingbird
- The Farewell
- Ford v Ferrari (AKA Le Mans ’66 in some territories)
- Wonder Woman 1984
Foreign Film Best 10 Runners Up
Presented in no particular order
- Mr Jones
- The Painted Bird
- The Kindness of Strangers
- Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey
- A Rainy Day in New York
Sources: Eiga Natalie, Sports Hochi