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Drive My Car(ドライブ・マイ・カー)

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Japan · 2021
2h 59m
Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Starring Hidetoshi Nishijima, Toko Miura, Masaki Okada, Reika Kirishima
Genre Drama

In this adaptation of Haruki Murakami's eponymous short story, a widowed stage director agrees to direct Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. On the way to Hiroshima where the production will take place, he bonds with his driver, an introverted young woman, over mysterious connections and shared grief.

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What are critics saying?


TheWrap by Ben Croll

You get the sense that Hamaguchi is playing with the idea of prologues, of elements that sit just beyond a narrative arc that shades everything that follows. It’s a wonderful impulse that works beautifully in the film — perhaps a little too beautifully, however, because the prologue outshines everything that comes next.


IndieWire by David Ehrlich

The result is a low-key but lingeringly resonant tale about a strange chapter in the life of a grieving theater director — an intimate stage whisper of a film in which every scene feels like a secret.


The Playlist by Gregory Ellwood

Despite what may initially seem to be a somewhat straightforward contemporary drama, Hamaguchi has crafted a rich, skilfully layered masterwork with flawless performances and a script that is a screenwriter’s holy grail. It sticks in your brain for days and nudges you to take it in again.


Variety by Guy Lodge

Hamaguchi’s filmmaking, always accomplished, reaches new heights of refinement and sensory richness here, principally via Shinomiya’s immaculate, opaline lensing.


Screen Daily by Lisa Nesselson

Hamaguchi has taken Murakami’s original story as a springboard rather than a strict template, changing and adding locations, inventing additional characters and boosting the importance of others.


The Film Stage by Rory O'Connor

It’s a graceful, aching film that sculpts and stretches Murakami’s story into an enchanting three-hour epic (my, do the minutes fly by) about trauma and mourning, shared solitude, and the possibility of moving on. The narrative also doubles as a lovely ode to the car itself, and the strange ways that people open up when cocooned inside them.

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