‘Drive My Car’ becomes first Japanese film to land Oscar Best Picture nomination

drive my car
  • Japanese drama "Drive My Car" was nominated for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best International Feature and Best Picture for the upcoming 94th Academy Awards.
  • The film made history by becoming the first Japanese film to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.
  • “Drive My Car,” which was adapted from a short story of the same name by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, is about a grieving widower who finds comfort in a female chauffeur after his wife’s passing.

“Drive My Car,” a drama by filmmaker Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, has made history by becoming the first Japanese film to receive an Academy Awards nomination for Best Picture. 

Based on author Haruki Murakami’s short story of the same name, the film also received nominations for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best International Feature for the upcoming 94th Academy Awards.

The film, which has a three-hour runtime, is about a grieving widower, played by Hidetoshi Nishijima, who finds comfort in a female chauffeur, played by Toko Miura, while dealing with the secrets his deceased wife left behind, according to the The Japan Times.

“Drive My Car” has won multiple awards, including four awards from the U.S. National Society of Film Critics. The film also became the first Japanese film in over six decades to win Best Foreign Language Film at the 79th Golden Globe Awards. Last year, Hamaguchi and screenwriter Takamasa Oe won the Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Currently, South Korea’s “Parasite” is the only non-English language film that has won an Academy Award for Best Picture, as NextShark previously reported.

The nod to Hamaguchi’s work marks 36 years since a Japanese filmmaker last received an Academy Award nomination for Best Director, when legendary director Akira Kurosawa was nominated for his work on “Ran” in 1986. The Kurosawa film won Best Costume Design and was also nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration and Best Cinematography. 

In an interview with IndieWire last year, Hamaguchi said, “In my opinion, fiction is the only kind of lie that society allows to exist, and it’s only allowed to exist because there’s a clear end to it. But in the short period of time before that end arrives, people are allowed to express something real about themselves.”

The Academy Award winners will be announced during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on March 27.

Featured Image via criterioncollection

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