Unsurprisingly, the most famous film of the year won one of the most coveted Oscars in the world. No, it’s not about “power of the dog” or the race for the best film. We refer to Ryusuke Hamaguchi “Driving My Car” winning the 2022 International Film Oscar (read our review).
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Nominated for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe) and best director, the adaptation of several Haruki Murakami’Short stories became the fifth Japanese film to win this honor. The other films being “Rashomon” by Akira Kurosawa, “Gate of Hell” by Teinosuke Kinugasa, Samurai, “The Legend of Musashi” by Hiroshi Inagaki, and, more recently, Yōjirō Takita’s “Shoplifters”. With Japan’s latest victory, it overtakes Spain for third place among all nations with the most wins in this category. Currently, Italy leads France 14 to 12.
“Drive My Car” debuted at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival where it won Best Screenplay, FIPRESCI Prize and Ecumenical Jury Prize. This is the sixth Cannes world premiere to win this Oscar category in the past decade. Since Cannes, Hamaguchi’s acclaimed drama has won numerous critics’ awards, including Best Picture from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Circle and National Society of Film Critics. It also won the Golden Globe for Best Film – Non-English Language, the Independent Spirit Award for Best International Film, and the Gotham Award for Best International Feature Film.
Hamaguchi shot another movie, “Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy”, between a pandemic break for “Drive.” It won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the 2021 Berlin Film Festival. It was released in Japan last December. His next film should be “Our Learning” which will be filmed in Paris and will present several languages.