Japanese language ‘Drive My Car’ has earned a very well-deserved Academy Award for Best International Foreign Film 2022.
Film critic Douglas Laman has explored how Hamguchi and co-writer Takamasa Oe have interwoven two famous plays, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Anton Chekkov’s Uncle Vanya, into the characters’ inner lives:
'In leaning on a work of the past like Uncle Vanya, Drive My Car excels on countless levels, including in finding a way to capture the interior voices of characters who refuse to overtly communicate.'
Hidetoshi Nishijima, as stage actor and director Yūsuke Kafuku, gives a first-class performance which is complemented by an outstanding cast. It is a truly international gathering, especially the ensemble required for the multi-lingual Uncle Vanya production. In addition to Japanese, the actors use Korean, Korean sign-language, Mandarin and English.Saab 900 Turbo, is a character itself. When Kafuku directs a production of Uncle Vanya in Hiroshima, his assigned driver, Misaki Watari (Tôko Miura), is an unlikely confessor as they share their personal nightmares and confront the past.