‘Departures’ lands Japanese laurels

Yojiro Takita pic tops Kinema Junpo Awards

TOKYO — Helmer Yojiro Takita’s “Departures,” Japan’s contender for the foreign-language Oscar, was named best Japanese pic of 2008 at the 82nd Kinema Junpo Awards.

Takita also scooped director honors, while Kundo Koyama won the screenplay award and star Masahiro Motoki took actor honors for the tale, set in a funeral parlor.

Kyoko Koizumi scooped actress laurels for her turns in “Tokyo Sonata” and “Gou-Gou Datte Neko de Aru,” while Masato Sakai was named supporting actor for “Climber’s High” and “After School.” Kirin Kiki nabbed supporting actress kudos for “Still Walking.”

Thesps are judged for their entire year’s output, not just one pic.

Best foreign film went to “No Country for Old Men,” while the foreign director honor was shared by Sidney Lumet for “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” and Sean Penn for “Into the Wild.”

Sponsored by Kinema Junpo, Japan’s oldest film mag, the awards are considered the most prestigious in the Japanese biz.

— Mark Schilling