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!

On paper I am an Italian living in London, in reality I was born and bread in a popcorn bucket. I've loved cinema since I was a little child and I’ve always had a passion and interest for Asian (especially Japanese) pop culture, food and traditions, but on the cinema side, my big, first love is Hong Kong Cinema. Then - by a sort of osmosis - I have expanded my love and appreciation to the cinematography of other Asian countries. I like action, heroic bloodshed, wu-xia, Shaw Bros (even if it’s not my specialty), Anime, and also more auteur-ish movies. Anything that is good, really, but I am allergic to rom-com (unless it’s a HK rom-com, possibly featuring Andy Lau in his 20s)"