Ryusuke Hamaguchi is having a moment. His 2018 film Asako I & II carved a path, but his latest film that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival – Drive My Car – is making waves in Festival and award circles.
The Best Screenplay winner at the 2021 Cannes awards is the Japanese Oscar submission for International feature, and many believe it’s a legitimate contender for an Oscar nomination. It’s a crowded field but Hamaguchi’s screenplay is being lauded as one of the years best.
Based on the Haruki Murakami novel, Drive My Car is three-hour long epic and a character study of a dynamic stuck in unforseen consequences. It’s scored by experimental singer-songwriter Eiko Ishibashi and distributed by Bitters End, who has distributed many of Hirokazu Kore-eda’s films over the years. Hamaguchi also co-wrote the screenplay for Wife of a Spy with a Weird Cinema favorite – Kiyoshi Kurosawa
November 24th Limited Release
The film will officially be released in New York City starting on November 24th but will fawn out into select cities in the weeks to come
Two years after his wife’s unexpected death, Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima), a renowned stage actor and director, receives an offer to direct a production of Uncle Vanya at a theater festival in Hiroshima. Arriving there, he meets Misaki Watari (Toko Miura), a taciturn young woman assigned by the festival to chauffeur him in his beloved red Saab 900. As the production’s premiere approaches, tensions mount amongst the cast and crew, not least between Yusuke and Koji Takatsuki, a handsome TV star who shares an unwelcome connection to Yusuke’s late wife. Forced to confront painful truths raised from his past, Yusuke begins – with the help of his driver – to face the haunting mysteries his wife left behind.