‘Drive My Car’, first Japanese film nominated for Best Picture – Deadline
by Ryusuke Hamaguchi drive my car made history this morning, becoming the first Japanese film to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Additionally, Hamaguchi is now only the third Japanese filmmaker to be nominated in the Best Director category. Along with nominations in other key categories Best International Feature Film and Best Adapted Screenplay, drive my car has four total nominations, tied with Akira Kurosawa Had run as the most nominated Japanese film (although the latter is a French co-production).
drive my car also joins an elite but growing club of foreign language films to be nominated in the Best Picture category. This includes the recent winner Parasite from South Korea. (Clint Eastwood’s Letters from Iwo Jimawhich was mostly in Japanese, was nominated for Best Picture, but was produced by American companies.)
Suffice to say, Hamaguchi, who is currently in transit for the Berlin Film Festival where he is a jury member, will be in for a big surprise when he lands.
Hamaguchi co-wrote and directed drive my car, based on a short story by Haruki Murakami. The drama won Best Screenplay at Cannes and has been on a wild ride ever since, winning film honors from both the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the New York Film Critics Circle, as well as myriad awards. other organizations. He also has three BAFTA nominations, including Best Director.
One of Cannes’ most beloved films, the story centers on Yūsuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima), an actor and director who is married to his playwright wife. Two years after the sudden death of the latter, Kafuku is asked to direct a production of Uncle Vanya and, despite his protests, has to be driven for the duration by Misaki (Toko Miura).
In Deadline’s review, Pete Hammond called drive my car“Exceptionally well-written, with pointed insights into love, loss, marriage, grief, truths on and off stage, and what we may – or may not – know about our loved ones.”