Japan rolls ‘Bones’ for Oscar contention

Argentina also joins Academy Awards race

With today the cut-off date for submissions, helmer Yoichi Sai’s “Blood and Bones” has been selected by the Japan Motion Picture Assn. as its foreign-language Oscar nominee while Argentina’s pick is Fabian Bielinsky’s “El aura” (The Dawn).

Based on a popular Korean novel adapted by Sai and Chong Wi-shing, “Blood and Bones” is both a grueling portrayal of the Korean-Japanese experience since 1920 and a family drama starring Takeshi Kitano as a violent patriarch.

Pic is a co-production of Be-Wild, Artist Film, Toshiba Entertainment, Eisei Gekijyo Co., Asahi Broadcasting Corp. and Xanadeux Co. Celluloid Dreams handles international sales.

Bielinsky’s second feature, “Dawn” is about an introverted taxidermist who plots the perfect crime.

It has led the box office in Argentina since its Sept. 15 release, beating Hollywood contenders “Cinderella Man” and “Wedding Crashers.”

Produced by Patagonik Film Group, Tornasol Film and Davis Films Prods., “Dawn” stars Ricardo Darin (“Moon of Avellaneda,” “Son of the Bride”), who played a lead in Bielinsky’s 2000 crime caper “Nuevas reinas” (Nine Queens) that spawned Hollywood remake “Criminal” in 2004.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will announce the nominations Jan. 31; the 78th Oscar ceremony will take place March 5.

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