Makoto Shinkai earned renewed international acclaim and recognition in 2016, following the release of the 2016 anime blockbuster “Your Name.” The film earned fervent acclaim from film critics, drumming up considerable Oscar buzz, but “Your Name” ultimately fell short of nabbing a nomination. His follow-up film, “Weathering With You,” has been selected as Japan’s entry for Best International Feature, which is the new name being given to the Best Foreign Language Film category. It is the first time in 20 years Japan has selected an animated film as its submission, the last time being Hayao Miyazaki’s “Princess Mononoke” in 1997, which failed to land a nomination. Now, this stunning first trailer offers a glimpse into the new magical world Shinkai has created.
Here’s the official synopsis from GKIDS: “The summer of his high school freshman year, Hodaka runs away from his remote island home to Tokyo, and quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits. The weather is unusually gloomy and rainy every day, as if to suggest his future. He lives his days in isolation, but finally finds work as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. Then one day, Hodaka meets Hina on a busy street corner. This bright and strong-willed girl possesses a strange and wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky…”
“Weathering With You” has already opened in Japan and has grossed over $100 million, making it the biggest Japanese film domestically since “Your Name.” GKids is handling the movie’s North American theatrical release after its launch at the Toronto International Film Festival last month.
Calling the movie a “gorgeous love story about climate change,” IndieWire’s David Ehrlich wrote in his TIFF review of the film: “from the very first moment of this stunningly beautiful, emotionally diluted metropolitan epic, the clouds are more than just a force of nature. They’re a portal, they’re a punishment, they’re what brings people together and keeps them apart. Here, the clouds are more intimately connected to human life than even the most extreme environmentalists would argue.”
“Weathering With You” is now looking to earn Japan its second Oscar nomination in a row in the foreign film category. The anime romance will face tough competition from the likes of South Korea, which has selected Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” as its official selection.
Check out the gorgeous first official trailer for “Weathering With You” below.