Home / News / 83-year-old filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki wins historic Oscar for ‘The Boy and the Heron’ – Chicago Tribune

83-year-old filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki wins historic Oscar for ‘The Boy and the Heron’ – Chicago Tribune

Legendary Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, whose anime classics have captivated fans around the world for decades, has made his second career debut. Oscar.

Miyazaki won the award for directing the best animated film at the age of 83. “The Boy and the Heron” The long-awaited fantasy from the director of “Spirited Away,” “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service.”

He is the oldest director ever nominated for this category and the oldest director to win in over two decades; This adds up to a big year for older filmmakers in Hollywood. It wasn’t in the awards.

“The Boy and The Heron”, considered one of the best films of 2023, surpassed its biggest rival in the films “Elemental”, “Nimona” and “Robot Dreams”, as well as “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” . ”

Sunday’s win for Miyazaki and producer Toshio Suzuki capped off a solid awards season for the film, which won top honors for animation at the Golden Globes and BAFTA Film Awards.

This was Miyazaki’s fourth Oscar nomination for best animation; He tied with Pixar’s Pete Docter for the most nominations in this category. Miyazaki won his first Oscar in 2003 for the movie “Spirited Away”.

Miyazaki began working on “The Boy and the Heron” shortly after announcing his plans to retire from cinema in 2013.

In excerpts from diaries published at the time in the film’s press notes, Miyazaki writes: “There is nothing more pathetic than telling the world that you are retiring because of your age, and then making another comeback.

“Doesn’t it prove that an old person is doing the best he can when he deceives himself that he is still capable despite his old forgetfulness?” he adds. “I’m sure it is.”

Miyazaki overcame these concerns, and the resulting film not only earned him his second Oscar on Sunday night, but also his first No. 1 feature film at the North American box office.

“The Boy and the Heron” tells the story of a boy named Mahito Maki who moves to the countryside after his mother’s death. There, he is lured by a mysterious heron to a secluded tower, a portal that takes him to a fantastical land in the midst of his grief.

The film took ten years to make. In the age of CGI and artificial intelligence, Miyazaki settled for the lengthy process of drawing his animations by hand.

He expressed his gratitude for the art of drawing when he received an honorary Oscar celebrating his artistry and storytelling in 2014.

“My wife tells me that I am a very lucky man,” Miyazaki said in his acceptance speech through a translator. “And I guess I’m lucky because I was able to participate in the last era when we were able to make movies with paper, pencil and film.”

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