- Confessions (film)
Confessions Directed by Tetsuya Nakashima Written by Tetsuya Nakashima
Kanae Minato (original novel)
Starring Takako Matsu Editing by Yoshiyuki Koike Release date(s) 5 June 2010 Running time 106 minutes Country Japan Language Japanese
Yuko Moriguchi (Takako Matsu), a junior high teacher, announces she will resign. She reveals that her daughter, Manami, was killed by two pupils in her class, whom she dubs "Student A" and "Student B". Her disclosure of their behavior soon reveals their identities, but she recognizes that they will escape punishment as legal minors. Instead, she admits to injecting her dead husband's HIV contaminated blood into the milk cartons that the murderers have just drank from. The rest of the film describes the aftermath of this event in a series of first-person narratives from the two students, Moriguchi, and others.
A new enthusiastic teacher is appointed. Student A, Shuya Watanabe, continues to attend classes but student B, Naoki Shimomura, has developed psychiatric problems. It is revealed that Shuya, who planned the murder, did not actually kill Moriguchi's daughter by electrocution; instead she drowned because Naoki threw her into the pool.
Naoki is worried that he will soon die from AIDS and refuses to clean himself, as he equated the smell of untamed hair and body odor to being alive. His mom tries to help but fails as Student B reacts violently to her gestures and shuts himself in his room. It is revealed later that Student B killed Manami on purpose, as a gesture to validate himself in the eyes of Shuya, whom he considers his only friend. His mother eventually realizes that her once good and kind son has transformed into an unknown monster. Seeing no hope, she decides to end their lives, but in the ensuing struggle, she is killed by her son, who is captured by the police.
Shuya describes how his mother divorced his father when he was young because she was unhappy with the role of a house wife and chose instead to pursue her scientific ambitions. He wants to prove himself to her and to earn her attention, which evolved from clever little inventions to gruesome recordings of him killing and dissecting animals. His first public invention, an electric anti-mugger wallet, earns him a science fair award but fails to make the headlines because of a sensational murder that occurs on the same day. He decides to kill someone so that he can become front page news.
After the incident, Shuya befriends Mizuki Kitahara when they were forced to kiss by the rest of the class as part of their escalating bullying tactics against him. Mizuki discovers that Moriguchi had lied about the blood-contaminated milk, reasoning that it was an implausible method of revenge to begin with and that someone so concerned with the value of life would not do such a thing in the first place. Mizuki begins to develop feelings for Shuya, revealing to him a side of herself she'd never shown to anyone else: namely, that she sees Lunacy, the online handle of a teenage girl who killed her parents in a sensational poisoning incident, as her "other self." When she confronts Shuya for not facing his mother and harboring an Oedipus Complex, Shuya kills her out of rage.
At graduation, Shuya plants a bomb to kill himself and his classmates, but the bomb does not go off and is revealed to be missing; he then receives a call from Moriguchi telling him she had moved the bomb to his mother's office, killing her instead. Moriguchi appears at the end, and tells Shuya, overcome and humiliated, that this was her revenge, and that his redemption now begins, but she adds, "just kidding", referencing to what Shuya told her when he confessed that he killed her daughter.
- Takako Matsu - Yuko Moriguchi
- Masaki Okada - Yoshiteru Terada
- Yoshino Kimura - Naoki's mother
- Yukito Nishii - Shuya Watanabe
- Kaoru Fujiwara - Naoki Shimomura
- Ai Hashimoto - Mizuki Kitahara
Film Grossing and Critical Response
Soon after the film had started showing in 266 cinemas, it had already grossed ¥269,835,200 with 194,893 audiences, breaking the record previously held by I Give My First Love to You. It kept grossing and became the highest grossing film for 4 consecutive weeks in June. It grossed over ¥3,500,000,000 in the 8th screening week, and finally, the gross revenue reached the record of ¥3,850,000,000. It is ranked as the 7th highest grossing Japanese film in 2010.
The film received a widespread positive response globally, with critics praising a variety of factors including good adaptation from the book, the director's style, and the acting, particularly by the child actors. The film holds an 80% 'fresh' average score at Rotten Tomatoes.
Although people under the age of 15 cannot view the film in Japan, the cast is almost full of students of around 13.
Awards and Nominations
The film was selected as the Japanese entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards. In January 2011, it made the final shortlist. It won the awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay & Best Editor at the 34th Japan Academy Prize. Also, it had 6 nominations in 5th Asian Film Awards, which is one of the films with most nominations (with Let the Bullets Fly).
Awards Award Category Recipent(s) Result 83rd Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film Confessions Made January Shortlist 14th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival Jury's Special Award Confessions Won 35th Hochi Film Awards Best Director Tetsuya Nakashima Won 84th Kinema Junpo Best 10 Film Awards Best Film (Ranking: 2) Confessions Won 53rd Blue Ribbon Awards Best Picture Confessions Won Best Supporting Actress Yoshino Kimura Won 2011 Élan d'or Prize Best Film Confessions Won 34th Japan Academy Prize Best Picture Confessions Won Best Director Tetsuya Nakashima Won Best Screenplay Tetsuya Nakashima Won Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Takako Matsu Nominated Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Masaki Okada Nominated Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Yoshino Kimura Nominated Best Cinematography Masakazu Ato, Atsushi Ozawa Nominated Best Lighting Direction Susumu Takakura Nominated Best Art Direction Towako Kuwajima Nominated Best Sound Recording Masato Yano Nominated Best Film Editing Yoshiyuki Koike Won 5th Asian Film Awards Best Film Confessions Nominated Best Director Tetsuya Nakashima Nominated Best Actress Takako Matsu Nominated Best Supporting Actor Masaki Okada Nominated Best Supporting Actress Yoshino Kimura Nominated Best Film Editor Yoshiyuki Koike Nominated 2011 Cinema Award Best Film (Ranking: 1) Confessions Won 30th Hong Kong Film Awards Best Asian Film Confessions Won 2nd Theater Staff Film Festival Best Picture Confessions Won Best Leading Actress Takako Matsu Won
- ^ Confessions (Kokuhaku) (2010) at Rotten Tomatoes
- ^ "Tetsuya Nakashima's "Confessions" lands an Oscar nod". japanator. http://www.japanator.com/tetsuya-nakashima-s-confessions-lands-an-oscar-nod-16567.phtml. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
- ^ "9 Foreign Language Films Continue to Oscar Race". oscars.org. http://www.oscars.org/press/pressreleases/2011/20110119.html. Retrieved 2011-01-19.
- ^ "第 34 回日本アカデミー賞優秀賞" (in Japanese). Japan Academy Prize. http://www.japan-academy-prize.jp/prizes/34.html. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
- ^ "News: Arrietty Wins Japan Academy's Animation of the Year". Anime News Network. 18 February 2011. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2011-02-18/arrietty-wins-japan-academy-animation-of-the-year. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
- List of submissions to the 83rd Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
- List of Japanese submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Films directed by Tetsuya Nakashima Japan Academy Prize for Best Film
The Yellow Handkerchief (1978) · The Incident (1979) · Vengeance Is Mine (1980) · Zigeunerweisen (1981) · Station (1982) · Fall Guy (1983) · The Ballad of Narayama (1984) · The Funeral (1985) · Gray Sunset (1986) · House on Fire (1987) · A Taxing Woman (1988) · The Silk Road (1989) · Black Rain (1990) · Childhood Days (1991) · My Sons (1992) · Sumo Do, Sumo Don't (1993) · A Class to Remember (1994) · Crest of Betrayal (1995) · A Last Note (1996) · Shall We Dance? (1997) · Princess Mononoke (1998) · Begging for Love (1999) · Poppoya (2000) · After the Rain (2001) · Spirited Away (2002) · The Twilight Samurai (2003) · When the Last Sword Is Drawn (2004) · Half a Confession (2005) · Always Sanchōme no Yūhi (2006) · Hula Girls (2007) · Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad (2008) · Departures (2009) · Shizumanu Taiyō (2010) · Confessions (2011)
Blue Ribbon Award for Best Film
Until We Meet Again (1950) · Repast (1951) · Lightning (1952) · An Inlet of Muddy Water (1953) · Twenty-Four Eyes (1954) · Floating Clouds (1955) · Mahiru no ankoku (1956) · The Rice People (1957) · The Hidden Fortress (1958) · Kiku to Isamu (1959) · Her Brother (1960) · Pigs and Battleships (1961) · Foundry Town (1962) · The Insect Woman (1963) · Woman in the Dunes (1964) · Red Beard (1965) · Shiroi Kyotō (1966) · The Fossil (1974) · Lullaby of the Earth (1976) · The Yellow Handkerchief (1977) · Third Base (1978) · Vengeance Is Mine (1979) · Kagemusha (1980) · Muddy River (1981) · Fall Guy (1982) · Tokyo Trial (1983) · MacArthur's Children (1984) · Ran (1985) · House of Wedlock (1986) · A Taxing Woman (1987) · The Silk Road (1988) · Dotsuitarunen (1989) · Childhood Days (1990) · A Scene at the Sea (1991) · Sumo Do, Sumo Don't (1992) · All Under the Moon (1993) · Like a Rolling Stone (1994) · A Last Note (1995) · Boys Be Ambitious (1996) · Bounce Ko Gals (1997) · Hana-bi (1998) · Taboo (1999) · Battle Royale (2000) · Spirited Away (2001) · The Twilight Samurai (2002) · Akame 48 Waterfalls (2003) · Nobody Knows (2004) · Break Through! (2005) · Hula Girls (2006) · Kisaragi (2007) · Climber's High (2008) · Mt. Tsurugidake (2009) · Confessions (2010)
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