'The Kirishima Thing,' 'The Intouchables' Win at Japan Academy Awards

Best actor winner Hiroshi Abe in Thermae Romae
Best actor winner Hiroshi Abe in Thermae Romae

TOKYO -- High school drama Kirishima, Bukatsu Yamerutteyo (The Kirishima Thing) won best picture and best director for Daihachi Yoshida at the 36th Japan Academy Prize on Friday, with other honors widely shared in a year featuring few critically acclaimed films

Hiroshi Abe won best actor for his comedy work as a time-traveling ancient Roman who ends up in a Japanese hot spring in mega-hit Thermae Romae, which took $66 million (5.98 billion yen) at the local box office.

The best actress award went to Kirin Kiki, who was honored for the title role in Masato Harada's Waga Haha no Ki (Chronicle of my Mother), that starred Koji Yakusho (Memoirs of a Geisha) as her son.

Hideji Otaki, who died in October last year, was the unsurprising choice for best supporting actor for Anata-e. The veteran actor, whose career spanned six decades, died at 87 of lung cancer at his home in Tokyo.

Best foreign language film went to France's The Intouchables, topping nominees Argo, Skyfall. Dark Knight Rises and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The comedy-drama, directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano, has been a favorite in Japan since it won the Sakura Grand Prix at the 2011 Tokyo International Film Festival, before going on to become the highest-grossing French language film of all time.

Best animation went to Okami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki (Wolf Children Ame and Yuki) by Mamoru Hosoda, beating out the $58.2 million-grossing (5.3 billion yen) Evangelion 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo.

Special awards were given posthumously to directors Kaneto Shindo and Koji Wakamatsu.



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