Elaborating on a short story by Haruki Murakami, Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Asako I & II) invites us to consider the anguish of a widower never entirely sure of his wife’s love. Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima) is a leading theatre actor-director. Early in the story, he returns home unexpectedly to discover his wife having sex with a young movie actor, Takatsuki, but he leaves unobserved and never confronts her about it. And then it’s too late. Two years later, Kafuku is directing a stage production of Uncle Vanya, and Takatsuki auditions for a supporting role. Kafuku surprises everyone by casting the young man in the title role.
One of the most critically-acclaimed films at Cannes this year (where it won three prizes, including Best Screenplay), Drive My Car is a sophisticated, cerebral film which digs into trauma, suffering, and the human struggle to articulate our most intense feelings. But for all that, Hamaguchi’s meticulous mise-en-scène ensures that the drama is never less than compelling and ultimately sublime.
Best Screenplay, FIPRESCI Award, Cannes 2021
Hidetoshi Nishijima, Toko Miura, Masaki Okada, Reika Kirishima, Park Yurim, Jin Daeyeon, Sonia Yuan, Ahn Hwitae, Perry Dizon, Satoko Abe
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