Drive My Car

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Hey film fans, it’s me, Slick Dungeon. I’m back to review another Oscar nominated film. The big awards ceremony is tomorrow so I’m doing my best to get through all the movies before then. Buckle up for this one because I’m reviewing the Japanese film Drive My Car. Be warned that there will be spoilers ahead so if you care about those things make a u-turn, go back and watch the movie and then come back here.

If you do watch this movie, buy the extra large popcorn because it’s got a very long runtime of three solid hours. The movie is about Yūsuke Kafuku an acclaimed theater director and actor who is married to a screenwriter named Oto. Early in the film it’s established that Oto loves Kafuku but she has affairs with other men. Kafuku doesn’t confront her about it but Oto seems like she might confess one evening. Only, Kafuku comes back home to find Oto dead of a brain hemorrhage.

The story skips to two years later when Kafuku agrees to doing a residency in Hiroshima where he will put on the play Uncle Vanya with a multilingual cast from several different countries. One of the cast members is a young man named Takatsuki who in all likelihood had an affair with Oto.

While at this residency, a driver named Misaki Watari is assigned to drive Kafuku to and from his rehearsals due to some policies of the theater. Watari is about the age Kafuku’s daughter would have been if she had lived.

The film is about all the connections these people have to one another, most of them through tragedy of one kind or other. As the film progresses Watari and Kafuku have a deeper and deeper connection.

I can’t say much more without giving a lot of the film away. What I will say is that the movie has a quiet brilliance to it. It’s not paced like most western films are and there is definitely a lot of dead space in its three hour run. However, that’s clearly an intentional choice and overall works for the film.

I’m not sure if it is deserving of the best picture but it certainly deserved to be nominated and there are impressive performances here from the cast.

If you like long, somewhat slow dramas this is a great film to watch. Just realize you’ll be dedicating a good chunk of time to it.

Awarding-ly yours,

Slick Dungeon

6 thoughts on “Drive My Car – Movie Review

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