Here’s What You Need to Know About Drive My Car. A quick introduction to the melancholic and lyrical film that stunned Cannes and the Oscars.

Being the first Japanese film in more than a decade to win an Oscars for the International Film Feature category, as well as a range of other nominations in the awards, “Drive My Car” is a long-winded tale about love, loss and the lonesome experience. Not only in the Academy Awards. but the film was also an acclaimed critics’ favorite in Cannes where it received acclaim in their Best Screenplay win.

The movie stars Hidetoshi Nishijima, Toko Miura, Masaki Osada and Reika Kirishima, and although the movie’s duration might seem long to some, their performance keeps audiences thoroughly engaged. “I think this story about loss and then also about how to live on after this loss, I think this story somehow resonated with a lot of people here,” says director Ryusuke Hamaguchi at an interview after the Academy Awards, explaining how the movie’s main themes gave a sense of relatability to the sentimental story.

Here's What You Need to Know About Drive My Car

Image courtesy of C&I Entertainment.

The movie is based on Haruki Murakami’s short story of the same name that was published in his Men Without Women novel, with essences of the other short stories from the same book being melded into the mix. The story starts off with Yusuke Kafuku, an actor and director who was past his prime, who received an offer to direct a theater production in Hiroshima. In his journey, he crosses paths with Misaki Watari who was assigned to be his chauffeur. This duo then embarks on a journey to unravel the open endings present in Yusuke’s life that are tied to his late wife.

The film itself has earned quite the reputation for its duration, with the tale unfolding for three hours, but if you are someone looking for a sentimental movie to watch on your me-time, this is definitely the movie to go for. Like the title suggests, the movie focuses on the sacred moments we experience whilst being inside a car, and how despite being stuck in a confined space, a sense of intimacy and sincerity is still present. Although some might find the movie monotonous or the acting un-dynamic, this still and cold basis of the movie only emphasizes the warmth of the overall story. (Text Vanya Harapan)