LOS ANGELES — Japanese drama “Drive My Car,” the story of a widowed theater actor grappling with his past, won the Academy Award on Sunday for best international feature film.
The three-hour film centers on an actor and director played by Hidetoshi Nishijima, who is forced to confront the demons beneath the seemingly perfect surface of his marriage after his wife dies.
He develops a tentative friendship with his young chauffeur while directing a multi-lingual production of Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” in Hiroshima.
Directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, “Drive My Car” was adapted from a short story by Haruki Murakami.
Accepting the award, Hamaguchi thanked some of the film’s production companies for “bringing my car to the United States.”
Hamaguchi told Reuters in Cannes, where the film won a screenplay award: “What I found fascinating was how the intimacy is brought into the car through the long conversations between the characters.”
The other international nominees this year were Denmark’s “Flee,” Italy’s “The Hand of God,” “The Worst Person in the World” from Norway, and “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom,” from Bhutan.
—Writing by Nick Zieminski and Tim Reid; Editing by Lisa Richwine and Sandra Maler