When a film of a certain pedigree is scheduled for release anytime after October, we peg it as an Oscar hopeful. Disney is explicit about it with The Wind Rises. Disney scheduled to show the latest Hayao Miyazaki feature in Japanese with English subtitles November 8-14 in New York and Los Angeles for “Academy Award qualification engagements.” The limited release comes three months later on February 21, 2014 before expanding wide (and presumably dubbed in English) on February 28.
Miyazaki has been successful at the Oscars since the turn of the century. Spirited Away won Best Animated Feature in 2003 and Howl’s Moving Castle was nominated in 2006. Ponyo went unnoticed, but The Wind Rises is Miyazaki’s final film before he retires, so the Disney marketing machine can easily coast on a wave of good feelings for the director to land a nomination. Check out Matt’s review from TIFF and hit the jump for the press release.
PLANS REVEALED FOR NORTH AMERICAN THEATRICAL RELEASE OF STUDIO GHIBLI’S “THE WIND RISES”
Miyazaki Masterpiece to Open in North America in February 2014 Following 2013 Oscar® Qualification Engagements
BURBANK, Calif. (Sept. 11, 2013) – The Walt Disney Studios and Studio Ghibli revealed North American release plans for “The Wind Rises,” a Studio Ghibli film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki (“My Neighbor Totoro,” “Spirited Away,” “Ponyo”), at the North American premiere of the film today at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film is slated for limited release in North American theaters on Feb. 21, 2014, and expanded release on Feb. 28, 2014, under the Touchstone Pictures banner. “The Wind Rises” will also open for Academy Award® qualification engagements in New York and Los Angeles Nov. 8-14, 2013, showcasing the original film in Japanese with English subtitles.
In “The Wind Rises,” Jiro—inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni—dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes. Nearsighted from a young age and thus unable to become a pilot, Jiro joins the aircraft division of a major Japanese engineering company in 1927. His genius is soon recognized, and he grows to become one of the world’s most accomplished airplane designers. The film chronicles much of his life, and depicts key historical events that deeply affected the course of Jiro’s life, including the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidemic and Japan’s plunge into war. He meets and falls in love with Nahoko, and grows and cherishes his friendship with his colleague Honjo. A tremendous innovator, Jiro leads the aviation world into the future. Miyazaki pays tribute to engineer Jiro Horikoshi and author Tatsuo Hori in his creation of the fictional character Jiro—the center of the epic tale of love, perseverance, and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world.
The film made its international debut at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month, and its North American premiere with an official screening at the Toronto International Film Festival this evening. It was showcased at the Telluride Film Festival and will also play at the upcoming New York Film Festival.