‘Villon’s Wife’ leads in Japan

Film takes four nominations including best pic

TOKYO — “Villon’s Wife” leads the Japan Academy Award nominations with four including one for best picture.

Other best pic nominees are “Dear Doctor,” “The Unbroken,” “Zero Focus” and “Mt. Tsurugidake.”Villon’s Wife” earned director noms for Kichitaro Negishi, lead actor Tadanobu Asano (who was also nommed for “Mt. Tsurugidake”) and actress Takako Matsu.

Noms for the annual awards, Japan’s equivalent of the Oscars, were announced Tuesday.

Doctor” drew noms for its helmer, Miwa Nishikawa, and lead actor, Tsurube Shofukutei.

Unbroken” and “Mt. Tsurugidake” were nommed for directors Setsuro Wakamatsu and Daisuke Kimura, respectively. “Zero Focus” director Isshin Inudo completed that category.

Other lead actor noms went to Ken Watanabe (“The Unbroken”) and Nao Omori (“Hagetaka: The Movie”), while on the distaff side were noms for Haruka Ayase (“Oppai Volleyball”), Ryoko Hirosue (“Zero Focus”), Aoi Miyazaki (“The Shonen Merikensack”) and Korean thesp Du-na Bae (“Air Doll”).

Up for the foreign film award are “Gran Torino,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Changeling,” “The Wrestler” and “Red Cliff: Part II.”

Awarded in 15 categories, the Japan Academy Awards have been an annual event since 1977. Pics commercially released from Nov. 29, 2008, to Dec. 4, 2009, are eligible for the 2009 prizes, including 207 domestic and 238 foreign pics. Unlike the Oscars, actors can be nommed in more than one pic in the same category. The awards ceremony will be held on March 5. (The Academy Awards in the U.S. are handed out March 7.)

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