Japanese Film “Drive My Car” With 4 Academy Awards Nominations are Getting Everyone Excited!
The history of Japanese cinema is changing. The toothless expression that is so often used in advertising is about to become a reality.
The 94th Academy Awards ceremony will be held on March 28 (Japan time). Drive My Car , ” directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi and starring Hidetoshi Nishijima, has been nominated in four categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film.
This is the first time in history that a Japanese film has been nominated for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Many filmmakers and movie fans must be deeply moved, saying, “This day has finally arrived. ……
In this issue, I would like to reintroduce the four nominated categories and discuss the characteristics of this year’s Academy Awards.
Best Picture “–A” First in History
First, let’s look at “Best Picture, ” a first in Japanese film history. Let’s take a look back at the nominees again.
Belfast “(in theaters now)
Coda Ai no Uta” (in theaters)
Don’t Look Up “(available on Netflix)
Drive My Car” (already released)
Dune: Planet of the Dunes (already released)
Dream Plan “(in theaters)
Licorice Pizza “(July 1)
Nightmare Alley” (in theaters)
Power of the Dog “(available on Netflix)
West Side Story” (in theaters)
As you can see, this year’s Academy Awards will allow you to see all the nominated films before the ceremony except for “Licorice Pizza”.
Don’t Look Up,” “Drive My Car,” “Dune,” and “Power of the Dog” can also be seen at home, allowing for more proactive participation than in previous years. For people living in Japan, this is also a unique feature of this year’s festival.
In addition, as a matter of fact, a new rule has been applied this year to fix the Academy Award nominees for Best Picture to 10 films (in recent years, the nominees were roughly grouped into 5 to 10 films), so the “first time around” has a strong implication of “giving more films a chance. It is also a “good” place to start.
From this perspective, “Drive My Car” and the Netflix film “Power of the Dog ” are the two most talked-about “firsts.
Directed by Jane Campion and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, “Power of the Dog” has surpassed the number of Best Picture wins for various film awards that “ROMA” had, making it the most Best Picture winner in Netflix history at this point.
If it wins the Academy Award for Best Picture, it will be the first time in history that this has happened, and it will also change the deep-rooted rivalry between distributed and theatrical films.
Above all, the theme of the film, “depicting the lives of minorities and the underdog with a western look,” is meaningful, and the suspenseful elements added to it make it a highly accomplished film.
In terms of distribution works, this will be the first time in history that a Netflix film “Don’t Look Up” or an Apple TV+ film “Coda: Songs of Ai ” has won the award.
At this point, “Power of the Dog” is considered a lock for Best Picture, but “Coda: Songs of Ai no Uta” won both the Screen Actors Guild of America Award for Best Picture and the Producers Guild of America Award for Best Theatrical Feature, making it the first film ever to win the award. The film is now on the offensive. In addition, the presence of “Belfast” is also a matter of concern.
The film is an autobiographical work by actor/director/director Kenneth Branagh, whose “Murder on the Nile” is currently in theaters. Set in Belfast, Ireland, the film depicts the destruction of peaceful daily life when a group of Protestant militants attack Catholic residents.
The main character, a young boy, and his family are faced with the choice of continuing to live in the town where he was born and raised, knowing the dangers, or leaving their hometown. …… The film may coincidentally overlap with the current situation in Ukraine, and we wonder how it will affect the psychology of Academy members.
In that sense, the position of Steven Spielberg’s version of “West Side Story,” with its more “divisive” theme, may be changing.
Best Adapted Screenplay,” in which a film with a strong delivery stands out, and “Best International Feature Film,” which is attracting attention for the first time in its history to have three nominees in three categories.
Next, let’s talk about “Best Adapted Screenplay. What is the Best Adapted Screenplay award, anyway? However, the classification is as follows: original story = Best Screenplay, original story = Best Adapted Screenplay.
Drive My Car,” which mixes elements of Haruki Murakami’s short story “Men Without Women” with Anton Chekhov’s play “Uncle Vanya” and others, is the latter. The other nominees are “Power of the Dog,” “Coda: A Song of Love,” “Dune: Planet of Sand,” and “Lost Daughter.
Coda: Ai no Uta” is based on the French film “Yale! is in the Best Adapted Screenplay category because it is a remake of the On the other hand, “Belfast” and “Dream Plan,” even though based on a true story, are in the Best Screenplay category because they are not based on an original story.
What is noteworthy here is the number of films distributed. Power of the Dog” and “Lost Daughter” (Netflix) and “Coda: Ai no Uta” (Apple TV+) are the majority of films distributed. Although there is a difference in the pattern of produced films and purchased films, we can feel the trend of the times.
The “International Feature Film Award” used to mean the Best Foreign Language Film Award. Double nominees with Best Picture include Mexico’s “ROMA” and South Korea’s “Parasite: A Family Halfway Under the Ground,” which leads to “Drive My Car” this time.
Considering the achievements of the above films in film history, the presence of “Drive My Car,” which performed well in the U.S. and won the Best Non-English Language Film (Best Foreign Language Film) at the British Academy Awards, is likely to grow even more significant in the future.
In this category, it should be noted that the animated film “FLEE Free ” (released in June) received a triple nomination for Best Animated Feature and Best Documentary Feature (a first in Academy Award history).
What do the International Best Feature Film, Best Animated Feature and Best Documentary Feature mean? Many of you may be thinking, “What is it about this product that makes it so special? To begin with, there is no connection between documentary and animation. The truth lies in the film’s origins.
FLEE Free” is a documentary about the life of a young man who defected from Afghanistan to Denmark and used animation to keep him and the people around him safe. This unique situation led to the film’s first ever three nominations.
Best Director,” with a lineup of regular nominees
Finally, the “Best Director” award needs no explanation here. Surprisingly, Kenneth Branagh for “Belfast,” Jane Campion for “Power of the Dog,” Steven Spielberg for “West Side Story,” and Paul Thomas Anderson for “Licorice Pizza” have all been nominated for an Academy Award.
It is deeply moving to see director Ryusuke Hamaguchi among them, but he has been internationally acclaimed since “PASSION” and “Happy Hour” in the early stages of his career.
His commercial film debut, “Sleep or Awake,” was selected in competition at the Cannes International Film Festival. He co-wrote the screenplay for “The Spy’s Wife ” directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, his former teacher at Tokyo University of the Arts, which won the Silver Lion for Best Director at the 77th Venice International Film Festival.
His “Drive My Car” was entered in the Competition section at the 74th Cannes International Film Festival, where it won four awards including the Best Screenplay Award, a first in Japanese film history. Furthermore, “Coincidence and Imagination” won the Silver Bear (Grand Prix of the Jury) at the 71st Berlin International Film Festival.
In other words, the films he has worked on have won awards at all three major film festivals in the world. This is why the accomplishment at the U.S. Academy Awards feels more like “finally” than “by no means”.
The above is a brief summary of the four Academy Award categories for which “Drive My Car” was nominated. There is still a possibility that some upheaval could occur, and we won’t know what will happen until the awards are announced, but what I am personally interested in is “what happens next.
Although the Academy has produced internationally acclaimed directors such as Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Hirokazu Kore-eda, and Koji Fukada, it remains to be seen how many more directors will be able to follow in the footsteps of Ryusuke Hamaguchi, and whether the Academy Award nomination will not be a one-time accomplishment, but will become a part of the “culture”. The Japanese film industry is now being strongly challenged to see if it can take root.
Can the Japanese film industry, which has been the subject of scandals and various other problems, change from this point on? We, the audience, will continue to watch closely after the awards ceremony.
Drive My Car
Now showing nationwide for a super long run!
(C)2021 “Drive My Car” Production Committee
Netflix Film “Power of the Dog
Available exclusively on Netflix
In theaters nationwide at TOHO CINEMAS Chanter, Shibuya Cine Quint, etc.
Ⓒ 2021 Focus Features, LLC.
Coda Ai no Uta
Now in theaters nationwide
© 2020 VENDOME PICTURES LLC, PATHE FILMS
June 2022: Shinjuku Wald 9, Grand Cinema Sunshine, Ikebukuro, etc., nationwide roadshow
© Final Cut for Real ApS, Sun Creature Studio, Vivement Lundi !, Mostfilm, Mer Film ARTE France, Copenhagen Film Fund, Ryot Films, Vice Studios, VPRO 2021 All rights reserved
Film writer, born in Fukui Prefecture in 1987. Studied film and theater expression at Tokyo Gakugei University. After graduating from university, worked for a film magazine editorial production before becoming a film writer. He has written a wide range of articles including interviews, reviews, news articles, columns, event reports, and recommendations.