Best Film:The Real Thing by Koji Fukada ; Best Director: Hikari for 37 Seconds ; Best Actress: Komatsu Nana for her performances in Sakura and Ito (aka Tapestry)…these are some of the winners at the 30th Japanese Professional Movie Awards/日本映画プロフェッショナル大賞. Sakura made it into the jury’s Top Ten movies for 2020.
The Japanese Professional Movie Awards (Japanese wiki page) were established in 1991 by journalist and film critic Hiroo Otaka. Backed by a group of film industry professionals, the main aim of the Awards is to provide recognition to films that sometimes fall under the radar because of lack of publicity or/and funding.
Based on Kanako Nishi‘s successful novel of the same name (2005), Sakura, directed by Hitoshi Yazaki (Strawberry Short Cakes, Sweet Little Lies…) hit Japanese theaters on November 13 last year. It was released on DVD and Bluray on May 12 this year.
Plot: An ordinary and happy middle class family that consists of parents and their 3 children: Hajime (Ryo Yoshizawa), Kaoru (Takumi Kitamura) and Miki (Nana Komatsu). Hajime is the eldest son, a handsome and very popular guy at school, he is also a fine baseball player. His younger brother Kaoru is a reserved and somewhat moody person. Miki is the young sister: stubborn, childish, careless yet sensitive, her feelings for Hajime go beyond simple admiration. They have a cute little dog, Sakura. One day, Hajime has a terrible car accident and as the family falls into despair, much will be revealed.
Sakura, the new opus from director Hitoshi Yazaki, will hit Japanese theaters next week on Friday 13th. Different media outlets (Oricon, TV Tokyo…) have released videoclips with interviews, excerpts from the film and the making of as well as one long scene with the Hasegawa family
Co-stars Takumi Kitamura and Komatsu Nana, together with director Hitoshi Yazaki had a talk show in Tokyo (at the Space FS Shiodome, Minato) to promote Sakura, a film which will be released in Japanese theaters on November 13. The show was broadcast on Mezamashi TV (Fuji TV) on Wednesday morning.
‘Sleepless nights, warmth, and magic spells are the essence of a film that gives space to its three main protagonists (…) the true power of the actors comes across. Ryo Yoshizawa (“River’s Edge” 2018) portrays a roguish Hajime and outplays his somewhat softened-down brother Kaoru, played by Takumi Kitamura (“Tremble All You Want” 2017). His role as the narrator gives him a neutral virtue that is matched by the acting of Nana Komatsu (“Farewell Song” 2019) in the role of Miki. Both show numbness in their behaviour that mirrors the feelings of puberty and sexual awakening. Since they are the younger ones, the movie equips them with uncertainty and doubt.’
Sakura, the new movie from director Hitoshi Yazaki, starring Takumi Kitamura, Ryo Yoshizawa and Nana Komatsu will hit Japanese theaters on November 13. The production has just released a first trailer and the film poster. Theme song “Ao no ID” written and performed by legendary band Tokyo Jihen.
Synopsis from AsianWiki: There is a happy family that consists of parents and their 3 children: Hajime (Ryo Yoshizawa), Kaoru (Takumi Kitamura) and Miki (Nana Komatsu). Hajime is the first son and he is handsome and popular. His presence in the family is large. Kaoru is the second son and he is an ordinary university student. Miki is the young child in the family. She looks up to her brother Hajime a lot. One day, Hajime has a car accident and the family falls into despair. Slowly, the family recovers.