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‘Tokyo Tower’ tops Japanese awards

Film wins five prizes including picture, director

Helmer Joji Matsuoka’s “Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad,”  a mother-son relationship drama based on a memoir by illustrator Lily Franky, scooped five awards including best picture and director at the Japan Academy Awards, held Friday in Tokyo.

Kiki Kirin won the actress prize for playing the pic’s dying, but salty-tongued, mother, while Kaoru Koyabashi nabbed the supporting actor award for his turn as the scapegrace absent father. “Tokyo Tower” scripter Masuo Suzuki won for screenplay.

Actor prize went to Hidetaka Yoshioka for his perf as the struggling novelist in the nostalgic drama “Always 2.” The thesp picked up the same prize for the same role in the original “Always” in 2006.

Animation laurels went to “Tekkonkinkreet,” an action/fantasy toon directed by American Michael Arias, while the foreign film award was given to Clint Eastwood’s “Letters From Iwo Jima.”

Supporting actress was awarded to Masako Motai for her role as the mother of a businessman accused of molesting a school girl in Masayuki Suo’s courtroom drama “I Just Didn’t Do It.”

 The 31st awards go to more mainstream pics than the local critics’ prizes sponsored by newspapers and magazines.

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