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Drive My Car review: Japan conquering the Oscars

Drive My Car is winning awards after awards all over the world and is preparing to be the revelation at the next Oscars: here is our review

ORIGINAL TITLE: Doraibu mai as. GENDER: dramatic. COUNTRY: Japan. DIRECTOR: Ryūsuke Hamaguchi. CAST: Hidetoshi Nishijima, Tôko Miura, Masaki Okada, Reika Kirishima, Jin Dae-Young, Sonia Yuan. time: 179 minutes. PRODUCTION: C&I Entertainment, Culture Entertainment, Bitters End. ITALIAN DISTRIBUTION: Tucker Film, Far East Film Festival. EXIT: September 23, 2021.

Beyond 60 awards around the world e 4 nominations for the next Oscars (find all the applications here). Only these numbers would be enough to elect Drive My Car one of the best films of the year. The film of Hamaguchi it was released in Italy last September but you can still find it in theaters thanks to the international success it is enjoying. While waiting to see how the night of the stars will go on March 27th, we invite you to continue reading ours review of Drive My Car. Let’s start from trailer of the film!

The plot | Drive My Car Review

Drive My Car is the film adaptation of thehomonymous story by Haruki Murakami, featured in the 2014 collection Men Without Women. The main character is Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima), a Japanese actor and director, who, after the sudden death of the wife Auto (Reika Kirishima), he is no longer the same. Two years after the tragic event, he is offered the direction of a show, Uncle Vanya of Chechov, by a festival in Hiroshima. There he is assigned a driver young and reserved (Tôko Miura) with whom, while traveling aboard the Saab 900 Rossawill eventually establish a more meaningful relationship than he bargained for.

Lightness | Drive My Car Review

After viewing Drive My Car it is almost impossible to hold back the emotions. What this film conveys is beyond anything I could have expected. I expected to get excited, yes, but not to barely hold back the tears, especially in a very long dialogue scene, the one between Yusuke and Takatskuki in the car. That scene is very long, full of words and meaning. We talk about Oto and her fantasy, about the relationship between her and her husband, about her faults and about her virtues as a woman and as a person. At that moment, Misaki takes the place of the driver who, in silence, listens carefully without allowing himself to interrupt that dance of words. A is expressed great pain in many of the dialogues in the film, but always with extreme lightness. The directing, in addition to the sublime script, also helps this. Many unforgettable frames, especially from the trip to Hokkaido onwards. At the end of the film, you feel lighterdespite having suffered along with the protagonists for much of the vision.

Silence and many languages ​​| Drive My Car Review

Can a film give equal importance to silence when at the same time it praises multilingualism? If the movie in question is Drive My Car, then yes. A peculiarity of the shows staged by Yusuke Kafuku is to be acted in multiple languages ​​at the same time: each actor speaks in the language of the country of origin and the lines in all the languages ​​in which the entire cast express themselves are projected on a screen, opening the doors to a new frontier of theater. This does not change even on the occasion of the last show, in which she is also involved a silent actress, which is expressed in the language of signs. The occasions in which she communicates are some of the best moments of the whole film, because in addition to what she expresses in herself, she sends a wonderful message to everyone, including colleagues. For more than one, the multilingualism of the work is an obstacle, while for her, expressing oneself without being understood represents normality. Yusuke also involved her for this one of his unique sensitivity and she wants her colleagues to learn from her too. Silence, at times, makes more noise than the words themselves: this is the ultimate message of the film. Hamaguchi has both Drive My Car endless dialogueswith a disarming beauty, both of long moments of pausein which gestures, looks and settings reign supreme.

Drive My Car review: Japan conquering the Oscars

Praise to Hamaguchi | Drive My Car Review

This paragraph is devoted entirely to director and co-writer of the film, Ryūsuke Hamaguchi. His work in both of these tasks was masterful, managing to give us a real masterpiece. If many would worry about the 3 hour length or the fact that it is a Japanese film, I would have wished the film had only lasted a minute longer. The visual and sensorial journey that Hamaguchi has been able to create is of rare beauty. To this must be added a work of excellent writing which owes many of its merits to the original story of Murakami, but which reaches its real consecration. Many words have already been spent in honor of the masterful dialogues and the meanings they convey, as well as the fundamental silence between one flow of words and another. So now allow yourself some silenceperhaps aboard a red Saab 900.


Drive My Car is an incredible movie. Light but full of heart, cold in the settings but which arouses strong emotions, with a direction and a screenplay that travel to very high levels. Hamaguchi packs one of the best films of recent years e I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes all-in to the next Oscars. For those who have still heard of this film or for those who did not trust the timing or the origin, listen to me: you will not be disappointed.

What do you think of Drive My Car? Have you seen him at the cinema or are you waiting for him to win at least one Oscar? Did you know the original story from which the film takes its cue? Let us know in the comments!

One of the best films of recent years

Points in favor

  • The fine but unforgettable direction
  • The script and the balance between silences and deep dialogues

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