Drive My Car

Drive My Car

Elaborating on a short story by Haruki Murakami, Ryūsuke Hamaguchi (Asako I & II) invites us to consider the anguish of a widower never entirely sure of his wife’s love. Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima) is a leading theatre actor-director. Early in the story, he returns home unexpectedly to discover his wife having sex with a young movie actor, Takatsuki, but he leaves unobserved and never confronts her about it. And then it’s too late. Two years later, Kafuku is directing a stage production of Uncle Vanya, and Takatsuki auditions for a supporting role. Kafuku surprises everyone by casting the young man in the title role.

One of the most critically-acclaimed films at Cannes this year (where it won three prizes, including Best Screenplay), Drive My Car is a sophisticated, cerebral film which digs into trauma, suffering, and the human struggle to articulate our most intense feelings. But for all that, Hamaguchi’s meticulous mise-en-scène ensures that the drama is never less than compelling and ultimately sublime.

Opening Dec 30 at the VIFF Centre http://goviff.org/best-of-2021-drive-my-car.