Rent Drive My Car (2021)

3.6 of 5 from 317 ratings
2h 52min
Rent Drive My Car (aka Doraibu mai kâ) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
Ryusuke Hamaguchi's 'Drive My Car' is a masterful, moving and multi-award winning film based on a short story by Haruki Murakami. When the wife of Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima), a stage actor and director, suddenly passes away, she leaves behind a secret. Two years later, Kafuku meets Misaki (Toko Miura), a reserved young woman assigned to be his chauffeur on a work trip to Hiroshima. As they spend time together, Kafuku confronts the mystery of his wife that quietly haunts him.
Actors:
, Tôko Miura, , , Yoo-rim Park, Dae-Young Jin, Sonia Yuan, Ahn Hwitae, , , Hiroko Matsuda, , Takako Yamamura, , Faisal Anwar, Kamal Zharif, Massimo Biondi, , Keiko Nishi, Saki Suzuki
Directors:
Producers:
Teruhisa Yamamoto
Writers:
Haruki Murakami, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe
Others:
Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Aka:
Doraibu mai kâ
Studio:
Mubi
Genres:
Action & Adventure, Drama
Collections:
Award Winners, Oscar Nominations Competition 2023
Countries:
Japan
Awards:

2022 BAFTA Best Foreign Film

2022 Oscar Best Foreign Film

BBFC:
Release Date:
18/07/2022
Run Time:
172 minutes
Languages:
Japanese Audio Description Dolby Digital 2.0, Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0, Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English, English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • BAFTA Q&A with Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi
  • Down the Road: The Making of "Drive My Car"
BBFC:
Release Date:
18/07/2022
Run Time:
179 minutes
Languages:
Japanese Audio Description Dolby Digital 2.0, Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles:
English, English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • BAFTA Q&A with Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi
  • Down the Road: The Making of "Drive My Car"

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Reviews (7) of Drive My Car

Long Haul - Drive My Car review by JR

Spoiler Alert
07/08/2022

With a running time of two hours and fifty-two minutes (it feels even longer!), you are in for a long haul.

It concerns a theatre director and his television screenplay writer wife. It transpires that she can only get inspiration for her writing during orgasm, so she has a lot of sex with multiple partners. One of her ideas for a drama is about a schoolgirl stalker who sneaks into a schoolboy's bedroom and masturbates on his bed and then leaves a tampon as a token of her having been there. This is wrong on so many levels... Oh, and in a previous life she was a lamprey. Just your regular TV drama...

The wife dies suddenly about one hour into the film, and oddly the cast credits appear at length. After the credits roll, the husband takes on a job of directing Chekov's Uncle Vanya. He has to accept a young woman driver provided by the theatre company. He uses the hour long commute in his car to recite Vanya's lines and listen to the play (seemingly endlessly) on cassette. We sit in on auditions and multiple long repetitive rehearsals of the play.

None of it is moving or engages the emotions; it is massively verbose, slow, long and ponderous, and full of self- importance.

3 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

Hypnotic - Drive My Car review by sb

Spoiler Alert
28/08/2022

FILM & REVIEW Had this on my watch pile for a while as it’s a slow burning character study…and 179 minutes long….and yes it is both but it’s also utterly hypnotic. In the pre- title sequence ( that’s the pre-title sequence that lasts 40 minutes) we meet Yusuki (Nishajimma) an actor and theatre director specialising in Beckett and Chekhov. He is married to Oto ( Krishima) a screen writer who tells him her ideas for stories during sex and gets him to re-tell them the next morning. She introduces him to Koji ( Okada)a handsome arrogant young actor that Yusiki discovers having sex with Oto but he leaves without them realising and nothing is said. Time passes and Oto tells him they need to talk but he delays coming home to find her dead from an anurysm. He is stricken with grief and retires from the stage. After the title sequence it’s 2 years later and he is directing Checkov’s Uncle Vanya is a small town outside Hiroshima . It’s a language blind version in that not all the actors speak Japanese - in fact one is mute and uses Korean sign language but they manage. One of the actors is Koji whose out of control behaviour has got him fired but Yusikzi hires him in the title role even though he is several decades too young. Yusiki is also assigned a young female driver Misaki (Muira) for his beloved Saab Turbo - he refuses but is told it’s part of the insurance. She is taciturn af first but over time the two form a bond as they have both lost someone and blame themselves for their inaction…. As I say it’s a real slow burner but each character fills an important role with some really touching scenes - one is when it’s discovered that the mute Korean actress is a actuality the wife of the theatre manager who didn’t want to prejudice her casting. Although it seems to be heading in a romantic direction it’s revealed that Yusiki and his wife lost a child and Misaki is the age the child would have been so it’s a much a surrogate Father /Daughter relationship with a real emotional pay-off. It looks beautiful with all the night driving with the lights gleaming off the red Saab and whilst not for everyone it’s well a watch as there is much to reward. It’s the kind of film where once all the kit is packed away you can imagine the characters just quietly getting on with their lives - quite remarkable - 5/5

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Tedious cinema-emptier - Drive My Car review by Alphaville

Spoiler Alert
09/09/2022

A low-key short story turned into a low-key overlong film filled to overflowing with filler scenes. It has won awards! The DVD blurb describes its director as ‘masterful’! Have film critics lost their senses?

The slow, solemn, deliberate, nearly-3hr film begins with an unnecessary 40min domestic preamble, at the end of which the main character’s wife dies. No spoiler – the trailer covers this in a few seconds. Cut to credits... after FORTY pointless minutes that a better film would have quickly covered as backstory. Then we have another 2hrs to sit through as our man (a stage director) comes to terms with his loss while we’re subjected to endless scenes of him rehearsing Chekhov’s ‘Uncle Vanya’.

The camerawork is unremarkable and the film is so unforgivably tedious and disdainful of its audience that it deserves all the brickbats it gets.

0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

Drive My Car (aka Doraibu mai kâ) review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

There are so many ways to find creativity in this world and communicate with it. These are two fascinating aspects of life that Drive My Car focuses on for its tale of drama and tragedy. It’s a masterful work of contemplation and sorrow, finding comforting pockets of catharsis while having a profound reflection on how art shapes life. This doesn’t feel completely unexpected from a director such as Ryusuke Hamaguchi, but it’s still a welcoming film from such an artist.

The elongated prologue of the picture tells the tale of Yusuke Kafuku, an actor and stage director. He finds the best way to prepare for a role in an upcoming stage production is to read lines while driving his car. His wife, Oto, records herself reading the lines and pauses just long enough for him to read his lines back. Oto is a screenwriter and also has her own means of conceiving stories. She finds that sex immediately generates story ideas within her. However, her sexual musings extend to other men, making sex more of a tool for creativity than an act of love. Considering that Yusuke’s relationship already felt strained with the death of his daughter, the love feels to be quietly leaving.

Things go from bad to worse when Yusuke finds out he is having eye issues and may not be able to drive anymore. Even worse, Yusuke comes home to find Oto dead. And all of this occurs before the opening credits roll.

Years later, Yusuke finds himself once more engage with stage production, this time directing the tale of Uncle Vanya instead of acting in it as the lead. He aims to put on a show in the languages of Japanese, Korean, and sign language for a multi-lingual show. The problem is that the producers would prefer if Yusuke did not drive his car. This puts a damper on his plans as he specifically requested living quarters for this show to be a few hours away so that he could run line with his tape of Oto. Instead, he has to rely on his driver Misaki to bring him to and from the production studio. Although Misaki doesn’t mind Yusuke running lines, both find themselves intrigued by each other, despite how professional they prefer to keep their relationship.

Yusuke’s production of Uncle Vanya ultimately becomes a meta-commentary for his own life. He needs to be more open about his past and also is discomfort with others. It’s what ultimately leads to him making the uncomfortable decision to once again play Uncle Vanya when the lead actor turns out to be a recluse on the wrong side of the law. It’s an intriguing aspect that takes aim at how the text of a play can be meaningless if we don’t take in what it says about our world. It’s why for all the line reading and meticulous attention to detail, there’s still something more to learn from it beyond getting the lines accurate or the delivery just right. There’s more than technicalities to life and it’s something that you’re never too old to grasp.

The acting here is top-notch. Hidetoshi Nishijima delivers such a nuanced performance of a reserved and quietly bitter person, unsure how to handle uncertain situations or attempt to approach his past beyond mere acknowledgments. Toko Miura gives an equally amazing performance for also harboring a tragic backstory that slowly reveals itself. She keeps her distance but lets her honesty flow when asked, making her just the dose of reality Yusuke requires to continue onward.

Even at three hours, Drive My Car is far from boring. There are many elongated scenes but I hung on every word considering what we learn about these characters. One of the longest sequences I can recall is when Yusuke is cornered by one of his actors on the car ride home. They speak for a long time but with a revelation about the past that reshapes everything he thought he knew about his wife and his ability to act and direct. There are so many profound scenes such as this that every minute of the picture is worth the trip.

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