'The Great Passage' Wins Big at Japan Academy Awards

The Great Passage still - H

The Great Passage still - H

Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Like Father, Like Son," meanwhile, wins best supporting actor and actress, as "Les Miserables" takes the best foreign film award.

TOKYO -- The Great Passage (Fune o Amu) was the big winner at the 37th Japan Academy Prize in Tokyo on Friday. The story of a dictionary compiler won best picture, best director for Yuya Ishii, best actor for Ryuhei Matsuda, best script and a couple of technical awards.

Hirokazu Kore'eda s Like Father, Like Son (Soshite Chichi ni Naru) had to make do with best the supporting actress award for Maki Yoko and best supporting actor for Lily Franky. It was a big night for Yoko -- she also won best actress for Tatsushi Omori's The Ravine of Goodbye (Sayonara Keikoku), the tale of a couple with a dark secret.

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The Great Passage was somewhat controversially Japan's foreign language Oscar entry, beating out Like Father, Like Son, which had been a hit at Cannes and picked up by Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks for a remake.  

The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu), the final film from anime meister Hayao Miyazaki, and the highest grossing film in Japan last year, won the best animated film, to the surprise of nobody. Long-time Miyazaki collaborator Joe Hisaishi took the best soundtrack award for the animated hit.  

Last year's surprise box office flop, Unforgiven remake Yurusarezaru Mono, took the best cinematography award. Last year's surprise import box office hit, released in Dec 2012, Les Miserables took the best foreign film, adding a statue to its $62 million take in Japan.

Twitter: @GavinJBlair