Japan has chosen German director Wim Wenders’ critically acclaimed film “Perfect Days” as its entry for the 2024 Oscars in the best international feature category. The movie premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and received rave reviews from both critics and audiences.
“Perfect Days” tells the story of a middle-aged Japanese man who works as a cleaner of toilets in Tokyo. The film focuses on his daily routines and explores his simple yet dignified life. Koji Yakusho, who portrays the main character, won the prestigious Best Actor award at Cannes for his nuanced performance. Additionally, the film received the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the festival.
This selection is significant as it is the first time that Japan has submitted a film to the Oscars that was not directed by a Japanese filmmaker. However, despite being helmed by a German director, “Perfect Days” is authentically Japanese. The cast is entirely Japanese, and they perform in the Japanese language. The film is a collaboration between Japanese production companies Master Mind Limited and Spoon Inc., along with Wenders Images from Germany, making it an official Japan-Germany co-production.
Critics have praised “Perfect Days” for its ineffable beauty and Wenders’ skillful direction. David Rooney, the lead critic of The Hollywood Reporter, described the film as “ineffably lovely” in his review from Cannes. Rooney also highlighted the film’s sense of place, noting how it captures the essence of Tokyo and incorporates the concept of “komorebi,” which refers to the play of light and shadows through leaves, creating unique and mesmerizing patterns.
International distribution of the film is being handled by The Match Factory, with Neon already acquiring the rights for the United States. Additionally, Mubi has secured distribution rights for the United Kingdom, Ireland, Turkey, and Latin American regions. This global interest demonstrates the wide-reaching appeal and potential success of “Perfect Days.”
Furthermore, “Perfect Days” has been selected as the opening film for the 2024 Tokyo International Film Festival in October. To add to the prestige, Wenders has been appointed as the president of the festival’s main competition jury, cementing his status as a respected figure in the industry.
The film’s inclusion in the Oscars and its recognition at Cannes, along with its international distribution and festival selection, indicate that “Perfect Days” is poised to make a significant impact in the world of cinema. Its poignant story and remarkable performances have captivated audiences and critics alike, making it a strong contender for awards and further accolades.
“Perfect Days” showcases the power of international collaborations and the ability of filmmakers to transcend cultural boundaries to create compelling and universally appealing stories. By selecting this film, Japan demonstrates its commitment to recognizing outstanding cinema regardless of its country of origin and further strengthens the global reach of Japanese storytelling.
In conclusion, Japan’s submission of “Perfect Days” for the 2024 Oscars in the best international feature category marks a significant milestone. This German-directed, Japanese-produced film has garnered critical acclaim and international attention for its breathtaking beauty, heartfelt storytelling, and exceptional performances. As it continues to make waves in the film industry, “Perfect Days” serves as a testament to the power of cross-cultural collaborations and the ability of cinema to transcend borders and resonate with audiences on a universal level.