And it received three other nominations too!

You might not think that Japanese movies are on par with the scale and production value of Hollywood movies, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any good ones out there. For example, the 2021 film by director Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car, is the first-ever Japanese film to be nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award.

Drive My Car is based on a Haruki Murakami short story about actor and director Yusuke Kafuku, who, two years after losing his wife, is invited to Hiroshima to direct a stage performance of Uncle Vanya. There, with the help of his driver, a young woman named Misaki Watari, he’s unexpectedly forced to come face-to-face with painful truths of his past and mysteries that his wife left behind. The film stars heartthrob actor Hidetoshi Nishijima in the main role and singer and actress Toko Miura as the driver, with Masaki Okada, who appeared in the Gintama live-action movie, and Reika Kirishima, a veteran drama and film actress, in supporting roles.

Even before the Best Picture nomination, the film has been critically acclaimed. It won three prizes at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival and was the winner of the Best Motion Picture – Non-English Language category at the 2022 Golden Globes, the first Japanese film to win the award in 62 years. It’s won dozens of other awards across the world and even has an impressive 98-percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Now it’s been nominated for four separate Academy Awards in the categories of Best Achievement in Directing, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best International Feature Film, and, most impressively, Best Motion Picture of the Year.

▼ Trailer

Of course, Drive My Car isn’t the first Japanese production to earn an Academy nomination. Mamoru Hosoda’s animated movie Mirai was nominated for the Best Animated Feature category in 2019, and, of course, a number of Hayao Miyazaki’s animated films have been nominated in the past, including Spirited Away, which took home the Oscar in the same category in 2003.

Drive My Car will be competing with the likes of Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune, Guillermo Del Toro’s Nightmare Alley, and Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, all of which offer some pretty stiff competition, to win the Best Motion Picture of the Year category, . Still, its chances seem very good, given its already lengthy list of accolades. The Academy Awards are scheduled to be held on March 28, so we’ll just have to wait and see if this film will make even more history!

Source: ReiTV News via Yahoo! News Japan via Otacom
Top image: YouTube/critoerioncollection

Insert image: Drive My Car
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