Godzilla Minus One crushed everybody at the Japanese Academy Awards

The latest Mission: Impossible won Best Foreign Language Film, which is cool

Godzilla Minus One crushed everybody at the Japanese Academy Awards
Director Takashi Yamazaki at Godzilla Minus One’s LA premiere Photo: Elyse Jankowski

The excellent Godzilla Minus One wasn’t Japan’s submission to the Best International Film category at the Academy Awards this year (that honor belongs to Wim Wenders’ Perfect Days, which was jointly produced in Japan and Wenders’ home country of Germany), but maybe that’s a good thing: If it had been, it might’ve obliterated the competition like a stomp from Godzilla’s mighty foot or a blast from his atomic breath.

That’s what happened at the recent Japan Academy Film Prize ceremony, effectively Japan’s equivalent of our American Academy Awards, with director Takashi Yamazaki’s monster movie winning eight of its 12 nominations—both the most wins and the most nominations of any other film this year. It won Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress (for Sakura Ando), Best Cinematography, Best Lightning Direction, Best Art Direction, Best Sound Recording, and Best Film Editing. (There’s probably something smart to say about this, given Godzilla’s thematic origin and the predicted dominance of an American movie about the atomic bomb at this year’s Oscars, but we should all wait to see how things go for Oppenheimer tonight before deciding what that smart thing is.)

Elsewhere at Japan’s Academy Film Prize ceremony, Wenders’ film won both Best Director and Best Actor (for Koji Yakusho) and Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy And The Heron won Best Animated Film. Awesomely, Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning won best Foreign Language Film ahead of Killers Of The Flower Moon, Barbie, French-Belgian drama Driving Madeleine, and 2022’s Tár (which just got an international release last year). If you’re curious, Oppenheimer hasn’t been released in Japan yet. That’s happening at the end of this month, after the American awards season has ended, which seems like a purposeful decision.

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