Ryusuke Hamaguchi has been making some of the greatest modern masterpieces in recent memory for a while now. Although his magnum opus is definitely the 2015 gem Happy Hour, Hamaguchi finally made his proper entry into general public discourse after his latest project Drive My Car won multiple bids at this year’s iteration of the Academy Awards.
Following in the footsteps of Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, Drive My Car managed to score nominations for Best Picture as well as the Best International Feature Film. Hamaguchi also earned an Oscar nomination for Best Director which he definitely deserves, alongside other pioneers such as Jane Campion and Paul Thomas Anderson.
Drive My Car also picked up a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for being able to convert a pretty unremarkable short story by Haruki Murakami into an ambitious and sprawling cinematic experience. Hidetoshi Nishijima was fantastic as the film’s protagonist – a theatre director who loses his wife to an unexpected brain haemorrhage.
Over the course of his own production of a multilingual version of a Chekhov play, he bonds with the woman who drives him to his appointments as well as his wife’s lover. An intense emotional experience, Drive My Car was definitely superior to most of the films that came out last year and deserves those Oscars more than its competitors.
Hamaguchi’s film has gotten a lot of critical attention and now it has started capturing the imagination of global audiences as well. While the Oscar winners are yet to be announced, Drive My Car picked up eight awards at the Japan Academy Film Prize ceremony including wins in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Director and Best Cinematography among others.
Check out the new trailer for Drive My Car below.