Drive My Car
Winner of the 2022 BAFTA for Best Film Not in the English Language.
Nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best International Feature.
A sensuous, Cannes-winning adaptation of a Haruki Murakami short story is the most gorgeous of road movies and a stunning portrait of grief.
Following a series of tragedies that besets his family, actor-director Yūsuke Kafuku finds himself taking on a multi-lingual production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. He casts in the lead an actor who had been having an affair with his screenwriter wife. To prepare for the production, he insists that his accommodation be some distance from the theatre so that he can use the car time to work through the play, with the audio tapes his wife recorded for him. He is assigned a driver and although initially unwilling to engage, Kafuku and Misaki gradually find an easy comradery. But more upsets lie on the horizon, which impact Kafuku’s world.
For a film that feels intimate as it glides seamlessly across its expansive running time, Drive My Car is remarkably full of incident. But Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s style of filmmaking never tilts towards the histrionic, even if his narrative edges more towards the melodramatic than its source material. The result is a constantly surprising, frequently moving and profoundly human portrait of the complexities of relationships and the detritus that remains when they come to an end.