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Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Palme d’Or winner Shoplifters (Manbiki Kazoku) leads the Japan Academy Prize nominations with 13.
The foreign-language Oscar contender is up for best picture, director, screenplay, actor (Lily Franky), actress (Sakura Ando), supporting actress (the late Kiki Kirin), music, sound, cinematography, production design, lighting and editing.
Following closely behind Shoplifters with 12 mentions is Blood of Wolves, starring Koji Yakusho (Memoirs of a Geisha) as a hard-boiled detective in an organized crime division who appears at times too close to the yakuza gangsters he investigates. Directed by Kazuya Shiraishi and based on the novel of the same name by Yuko Yuzuki, the film was critically well-received but only took in just over ?670 million ($6 million) at the box office.
Recall (Soratobu Tire), loosely based on a real incident in 2002 when a tire came off a Mitsubishi truck and killed a mother and injured her two sons, received nine nominations. Directed by Katsuhide Motoki and starring Tomoya Nagase, it is based on a novel by Jun Ikeido, author of Hanzawa Naoki, on which a smash-hit TV drama was based. The story of the accident and subsequent cover-up by an automaker was previously made into an acclaimed drama by the satellite network Wowow in 2009.
The surprise microbudget hit zombie film One Cut of the Dead — which was directed by Shinichiro Ueda, featured a cast of virtual unknowns and earned around $30 million — was nominated in eight categories, including for best picture and director.
The nominees for best foreign film include The Greatest Showman; The Shape of Water; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Mission: Impossible – Fallout; and Bohemian Rhapsody. The Queen biopic is currently No. 2 on the box office charts after 10 weeks of release and has collected ?9.4 billion ($87 million), making it the biggest release of 2018 in Japan.
The 42nd Japan Academy Prize honors will be presented during a March 1 ceremony in Tokyo.
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