Japanese film ‘Drive My Car’ wins Best International Feature Film Oscar

Japan’s “Drive My Car” won Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday night, marking Japan’s fifth Oscar win for a film.

Directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, “Drive My Car” became the first Japanese film to win in the category since moving up from “Best Foreign Language Film” in 2020. Including this year’s win, Japan won five Oscars in total for movies, it’s the first since 2008, when “Departures” won Best Foreign Language Film.

During his acceptance speech, Hamaguchi thanked the film’s cast, Academy members and Toko Miura, who plays the fictional driver in his film.

After a pause to applause from the audience, Hamaguchi attempted to continue his speech by following the musical cue, but was taken off stage.

The three-hour feature had already won around 90 awards, including those at the Cannes Film Festival in July last year.

Based on the short story of the same name written by Haruki Murakami, “drive my carfollows the story of a recently widowed actor and director who tries to come to terms with the loss of his wife in the company of a chauffeur who drives him around in her precious red Saab 900.

Other nominees for Best International Feature Film this year included ‘The Hand of God’ from Italy, ‘Flee’ from Denmark, ‘Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom’ from Bhutan and ‘The Worst Person in the World’ from Norway.

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Marie A. Evans