Drive my car: discover the Japanese film that won the Oscar for best international film

The Oscars are recognized as the main award in cinema, annually rewarding achievements within the film industry, creating every year a great expectation about what will be the next one. movie to take the top film award.

This award for many years was focused only on Hollywood cinema, the main pole of North American film production, but the truth is that the audiovisual artistic market is much bigger than that, being increasingly recognized.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts' first step in this direction was the creation of the Best Foreign Film award, a category renamed International Film, recognizing the value of cinema made outside the US.

Not as something exotic and distinct, but as productions to be seen with importance, recognizing the different cultural trends present in the most diverse countries, in the same way that a moving company can handle different markets.

But in addition to the international film category, it is also possible to see greater recognition of these productions with a global aspect, with them increasingly being nominated for other categories within the biggest cinema awards.

Brazil itself managed to have some recognized productions, such as Fernanda Montenegro being nominated for the best actress award for Central do Brasil (2019), and Cidade de Deus (2001) being nominated for four golden statuettes.

But what happened only occasionally, with a very fragmented history, such as a delivery company dealing with fractional loads, there was a change about the recognition of international cinema.

These productions also began to occupy other important categories in the awards. And in the 2022 edition, the great recognition was the Japanese Drive My Car, marking another outstanding victory for Asian cinema.

The impact of this victory for Japanese cinema

One of the purposes in relation to the international film award is to put a special spotlight on productions made by different countries, which would hardly have the same kind of prominence if they were restricted to recognition in their respective countries.

The globalization of the market as a whole has also helped international cinema to gain a greater reception, as access to such productions becomes increasingly practical with the help of streaming services.

The same type of commercial opening can make an agency dedicated to environmental advice manage to expand the field of action, by having tools that allow an extension of such a business to different markets.

In the case of film awards, there is another factor related to a greater number of recognition of foreign productions, which is the greater number of representatives among voters, with professionals from different countries.

Specifically in the 2022 edition, it was possible to find films from different markets being recognized in different categories, such as a production from Denmark nominated for best animation and documentary, and one from Norway as best original screenplay.

But none had the same prominence as the Japanese Drive My Car, which ended up being nominated for four awards, including Best International Film, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, but the highlight was the nomination for the top prize of the night.

The Asian production was among the ten main films, to compete for the Best Film award, which ended up going to No Rhythm of the Heart (CODA), the American version of a French production, in a way also recognizing the strength of international cinema.

But it is not as if this defeat allowed only one conception, such as a reflection in the face of a smooth plate, since only the presence of Drive My Car already marked a great event for Japanese cinema, but he still won the international award.

A guaranteed recognition on top of other great productions, namely:

  • The Hand of God (Italy);
  • The Worst Person in the World (Norway);
  • The Happiness of Small Things (Bhutan);
  • Flee: No Place To Call Home (Denmark).

And the victory of Drive My Car becomes even more impressive for continuing the process of recognition of the asiatic cinema as a whole, on a high after the victory of the main award in 2020 by the South Korean Parasite.

But just as it is necessary to make a soil collection for analysis quality of a terrain, it is also important to carefully understand what the film is about, in order to understand the reasons why it was recognized.

What is the synopsis of Drive My Car?

The film follows actor and theater director Yusuke Kafuku, played by Japanese actor Hidetoshi Nishijima. He tries to run a show while dealing with grief after his wife's death, even though they had a troubled relationship in life.

The director's chosen way to remember his lines is to listen to his text while driving, however a rule established by his new theater group requires the presence of a professional driver, with a young woman having to assume the keys to his car.

The plot was nominated for the category of adapted screenplay because it is an adaptation of a short story by Japanese author Haruki Murakami in a work that deals with the weight of dealing with the loss of a loved one, especially if there are unfinished business.

A touching and reflective film about life, bringing its own vision of human relationships. The work has a script and direction by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, a Japanese director who has already been recognized by world cinema for other works.

Being an interesting name to follow his filmography, even though it is necessary to count on a stainless industrial filter and a bathroom nearby, as he also stands out for his long-term productions, escaping in some works the standard average of two hours.

Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi's Background

In the same year that Drive My Car was released in theaters, in 2021, another production by the director also hit the screens, the drama Wheel of Fortune, which follows the lives of three women and how their relationships end up intertwining.

This film was recognized by the Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival), receiving the Silver Bear from the jury, the festival's grand prize, while Drive My Car was awarded by the Cannes festival in the category of Best Screenplay.

But the director's first work to receive a certain worldwide attention was Happy Hour: Happy Hour, from 2015, standing out mainly because of its extensive five exhibitions, functioning almost like a miniseries, but continuously.

Returning to the awards for Drive My Car, in addition to the Oscar and recognition at Cannes, the film also received the foreign film award at celebrations such as the Golden Globes and the Critic's Choice Awards.

And as positive as the recognition is, the same doesn't seem to have happened during the Oscars celebration night.

The artigo is still half finished, but we recommend opening it to read the following later:

The controversy surrounding the victory of Drive My Car

The Oscars night, which took place this year on March 27, was marked by controversial situations, with a physical impasse involving actors Chris Rock and Will Smith, but the award was also criticized for the way it treated its artists.

When an event focused on the environmental issue is held, it is expected that the public will have an interest and respect for the specialist in environmental consultancy invited to speak in this space.

The same attention you expect when you receive an award as important as the Oscar, but that's not what the Japanese Ryusuke Hamaguchi received. After receiving the statuette in the category of international film, the director was practically ignored.

His speech was quickly cut short, with the production turning up the sound in the background while he still mainly thanked the film's distributors, who allowed such a story to reach the entire world.

He still tried to continue talking, but was interrupted again as he thanked the actors in the production, and then had to leave the stage. A negative event that ended up being overshadowed by other controversies that occurred in the biggest night of the cinema.

But for those who really want to recognize the work of Hamaguchi, know that Drive My Car is now available on the art film streaming platform MUBI, where you can also find Asako I & II (2018), another work by the director.

Some Drive My Car sessions can be found in the cinema, after its recognition as an international film, you just need to get used to the metallic lining present in his cinema, since the production lasts for three hours.

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