by Chris MaGee
I've been mentioning off and on here on the blog that it seems like 2009 didn't produce one across the board critical and fan favorite film like 2008 did with Yojiro Takita's "Departures", but I'm wrong. I based that on which films and directors were winning the big awards like the Kinema Junpo Award, the Japanese Academy Awards, etc. which would be a three way split between Miwa Nishikawa's "Dear Doctor", Daisaku Kimura's "Mt. Tsurugidake", and Setsuro Wakamatsu's "The Sun That Doesn't Set". In actual fact though one film seems to be topping critics and fans lists both in Japan and abroad: Sion Sono's "Love Exposure". For evidence of this all you need to do is check out the top picks of 2009 that were posted recently over at Midnight Eye. Of the six writers that chose their top films of last year four of them - Jasper Sharp, Nicholas Rucka, Eija Niskanen, and Jason Gray - all named Sono's genre-bending 4-hour epic as their number one. Four people don't make a "Departures"-like success though, I know, but if you check out the ongoing results of Midnight Eye's Reader's Poll "Love Exposure" has garnered over a quarter of the votes. Make sure to head over to see all of the picks, both by Midnight Eye contributors and readers... but in the end I think, as Jasper Sharp put it, "'Love Exposure' all the way!!!"