GKIDS continues to be a major player in Best Animated Feature at the Oscars. One of the several films on the studio’s slate this year is the Japanese film “Weathering with You,” which was also Japan’s official selection for the Best International Film category. It was written and directed by Makoto Shinkai, who had previously made “Your Name,” which briefly held the title of the highest-grossing anime movie in Japan. “Weathering with You” currently enjoys 33/1 odds in Gold Derby’s predictions, good enough for 7th place on our charts.
The film centers on Hodaka, a 16-year-old who’s running away to Tokyo, which has been experiencing a freak weather pattern of continuous rain. He meets Mr. Suga who takes him in and puts him to work at his publishing company where he investigates urban legends along with Suga’s niece, Natsumi. One of the urban legends they look into is about a weather maiden who is able to manipulate the weather. Hodaka befriends a girl named Hina and soon learns that she is one of the weather maidens. He convinces Hina to start a business with him where she will clear the sky for special events. Hodaka and Hina enjoy the business and the joy it brings to people.
When the police get wind of Hodaka’s whereabouts, he runs away and brings Hina and her brother with him. As he continues to fall for Hina, Hodaka learns from her that her existence is the reason for all the crazy weather and the only way to return it to normal is to disappear. When Hina eventually does disappear, Hodaka dedicates himself to bringing her back and must do so while also evading the police that are after him.
The film looks absolutely gorgeous and the way it animates Tokyo and the dreary weather that’s plaguing the city is stunning. The chemistry between Hodaka and Hina is also very believable and it’s almost impossible not to get swept up in the chemistry the two characters have with each other. Also, Hodaka’s nervousness around Hina is very charming, plus the film has a cute kitten in it named Rain and who doesn’t love a cute cat?
One of the biggest factors in favor of “Weathering with You” getting nominated is definitely having GKIDS behind it. Since the studio was established in 2008, it has managed to score 11 Oscar nominations in Best Animated Feature. The studio has also gotten nominated in the category for six consecutive years. Having the film compete for the International Film prize will also help it get seen by more members of the academy. Additionally, the movie was recently nominated for four Annie Awards including Best Indie Feature, Best Director and Best Writing.
Be sure to make your Oscar nominee predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on January 13. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Academy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.