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Best Picture Oscar-nominated Japanese film ‘Drive My Car’ now available to stream on HBO Max

drive my car
  • Critically acclaimed Japanese film “Drive My Car,” adapted from the Haruki Murakami short story by the same name, tells the story of a grieving actor and theater director, Yusuke Kafuku, who is offered a position to direct a new production.

  • In the process, he is offered a female chauffeur by the name of Misaki Watari. The two start off distant and eventually bond and find comfort in one another.

  • Directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, the three-hour movie is nominated for the same four prestigious Academy Award categories that South Korea’s “Parasite” was back in 2020.

  • Winning Best Picture later this month would make “Drive My Car” the first Japanese film to do so, and the second Asian film.

  • A longtime admirer of Hamaguchi’s work, “Parasite” director Bong Joon-ho described Hamaguchi as “very intense” and “very focused” in his approach.

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Japanese director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s Oscar-nominated work “Drive My Car” is now available to stream on HBO Max. 

“Drive My Car,” an adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s (“IQ84”) famed short story by the same name, tells the story of a widowed actor and theater director Yusuke Kafuku (played by Hidetoshi Nishijima) who is still grieving the death of his beloved wife.

When a theater company hires him for their newest production, they offer a chauffeur as part of their contract. The hire is a young woman named Misaki Watari (played by Toko Miura), who recently lost her mother. The two eventually bond as they are forced to spend time together for work. 

Directed by Japanese filmmaker Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, the three-hour feature was released in the U.S. in November and has been nominated this year for the same four prestigious Academy Award categories that South Korean film “Parasite” was back in 2020. 

In an interview with the New York Times, Hamaguchi credited “Parasite” with “[pushing] open that very heavy door that had remained closed.”

A longtime fan of Hamaguchi’s work, “Parasite” director Bong Joon-ho described Hamaguchi as “very intense in his approach to the characters, very focused” and “never” rushed, leading to a big “emotional impact.” 

Not only does “Drive My Car” have the potential to make history as the first Japanese film to receive an Academy Award for Best Picture later this month, it would make it the second Asian film to win the category in less than a decade. This would perhaps mark a new era for the status of Asian pictures in the Academy. 

“Drive My Car” is available to stream on HBO Max.

 

Featured Image via TIFF Trailers

 

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