November 5, 2013
The New York Times
by Brooks Barnes
LOS ANGELES — “The Wind Rises” is the type of art film that typically speeds into the Oscar race. Critics at film festivals have swooned over its nuance. It delivers messages about turbulent modern times by examining traumatic events of the past. The film’s 72-year-old director and writer, Hayao Miyazaki, a cinematic giant, has said the ambitious animated picture will be his last, a final bow.
Instead, “The Wind Rises” is entering the Oscar competition on tiptoe.
The film, a box-office smash in Japan with ticket sales of $120 million, will play in New York and Los Angeles starting on Friday for one week, the minimum release time a movie can receive and still be eligible for the Academy Awards. A Hollywood producer who has taken the film under his wing, Frank Marshall, declined an interview request. The movie’s distributor, Walt Disney Studios, is also stepping carefully.
One explanation for the sensitivity? Although “The Wind Rises” has a strong pacifist message, it is essentially a biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, an aeronautical engineer whose contribution to the world was a killing machine. His designs led to the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter, which was used to devastating effect during World War II. Read more .