Drive My Car
Photo: Courtesy of Janus Films

‘Drive My Car’ to represent Japan at Golden Globes and Oscars – here’s what it’s about

The film by Ryusuke Hamaguchi is adapted from a Haruki Murakami short story – and it’s still showing in cinemas

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen
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Following a successful run at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival where it snatched three awards including Best Screenplay, ‘Drive My Car’ could soon be in the running for an Oscar. The Japanese film officially made the Academy Awards shortlist released on December 21 for the Best International Feature Film category.

Adapted from a short story by Haruki Murakami, this ruminative three-hour film centres on recently widowed Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima), who is directing an experimental production of Chekhov’s ‘Uncle Vanya’ in Hiroshima. Still reeling from the sudden death of his wife Oto (Reika Kirishima), Yusuke uses the long drive to work every morning to listen to cassette tape recordings of her voice and tries to piece together the unanswered questions he had about her. Though initially Yusuke keeps his thoughts to himself, he eventually begins to confide in his 20-year-old chauffeur, Misaki Watari (Toko Miura), who in turn opens up to him about her own losses.

So, how will Japan’s entry measure up to the 14 other contenders on the list? While the Academy Awards won’t be announcing its nominations until February 8, ‘Drive My Car’ was recently nominated in the Best Non-English Language Motion Picture category at the 79th Golden Globe Awards scheduled for January 9 2022. The other nominees in the category are 'Compartment No. 6' (Germany, Russia, Finland), 'Hand of God' (Italy), 'Hero' (Iran, France) and 'Parallel Mothers' (Spain). 

If you have yet to watch the film, you can still catch a screening at Uplink Kichijoji where it will be showing until December 30.  

For more details, read our full review here

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