Miyake Sho’s female-led boxing drama “Small, Slow, But Steady” has been named the best Japanese film of 2022 by Kinema Junpo magazine. This honor has been awarded annually since 1924 and is considered the Japanese industry’s most prestigious.
Kishii Yukino, who starred as a struggling deaf boxer, claimed the best actress award, while Miura Tomokazu, who played her supportive, but unsparingly, honest gym manager, was named best supporting actor. Finally, Miyake was voted the year’s best Japanese director in a readers’ poll.
The film premiered in the Berlin festival’s Encounters section last year. It later played widely on the festival circuit, including at China’s Pingyao festival where it won the gala-audience prize.
Among other awards, Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Licorice Pizza” was named best foreign film, while veteran Takahashi Banmei won the best director prize and Kajiwara Aki the best screenplay award for the drama “No Place to Go” about a middle-aged woman driven to homelessness during the pandemic.
Also, pop star and actor Sawada Kenji was awarded best actor honors for his portrayal of a writer living the natural life in a cabin the woods in Nakae Yuji’s drama “The Zen Diary.”
A special lifetime achievement prize was given to author and critic Kobayashi Nobuhiko.
The prizes, which also include a ‘ten best’ list that magazine will reveal in its next issue, are decided by a poll of roughly 120 critics, reporters, editors and other industry figures. Also, the acting prizes are awarded for all the winners’ performances in a given year.
‘Small, Slow, But Steady’ Named Best Japanese Film of 2022 by Kinema Junpo