by Chris MaGee
On January 15th the winners of the 51st annual Blue Ribbon Awards were announced in Tokyo, but it was only yesterday that the trophies were handed out and Variety Japan got a shot of all the recipients. I can't tell you how much I love photos like this. Look at everyone in attendance! Front row from left: Kumiko Aso, Yayako Uchida, Masahiro Motoki (Best Actor for "Departures"), Tae Kimura (Best Actress for "All Around Us"), Lily Franky (Best Newcomer- Male), Yuriko Yoshitaka (Best Newcomer- Female) and Ryo Kase who MC'ed the event. As for the top row (from left): Warner Bros. Marketing Chief Tomokazu Hukunaga (picking up "The Dark Knight's" award for Best Foreign Film), Masaaki Wakasugi and Masato Harada (producer and director of Best Film winner "Climber's High"), Hirokazu Kore-Eda (Best Director for "Still Walking")... and two guys on the end I have have no idea who they are. Sorry, but that's quite a group.
Even though he was a revelation in his role in Ryunosuke Hashiguchi's "All Around Us" I'm still a bit confused that 45-year-old Lily Franky was named Best Newcomer though... and so was Franky who joked about being the oldest Newcomer in the history of the Blue Ribbon awards, complete with gray hair and a bad knee and elbow!
UPDATE: Thanks to Kevin Ouellette for setting me straight. The two gentelmen on the far right end in the upper row are Ken Ogata's son Kanta and Kon Ichikawa's son Tatsumi who were on hand to receive special awards on behalf of their late father's who both passed away in 2008.