Two Japanese movies have made it into this year Oscar Nominations.
“Shoplifters” by by Hirokazu Koreeda in the Best Foreign Film Section
“Shoplifters is a genuine Koreeda film, a masterful family drama, and of his best latest works, which definitely says something considering the quality of all of his films.” Panos Kotzathanasis
and “Mirai” by Mamoru Hosoda in the Best Animated Feature Section
“Mirai is a charming and heart-warming trip to a better understanding of our ground, starting easy and getting, along the way, more challenging and rewarding at the same time.” Adriana Rosati
It will be a tough competition, “Shoplifters” against other giants like Pawlikowski’s “Cold War” and Cuaron’s “Roma” – which is also in the Best Film Section and it has scooped a lot of nominations in other sections – and “Mirai” against “Incredibles 2” and Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs” (also with a Japanese flavour).
Sadly there is no trace of the other Asian favourite, “Burning” by Lee Chang-dong, although, considering some of the other entries (not in the Foreign Film section), you might sometimes wonder if being included in this bunch should be a reason for joy or despair.
However, having an Oscar nomination is a great commercial achievement and we cheer enthusiastically for “Shoplifters” and “Mirai”. Good luck!