The Japanese film “Drive My Car” won best screenplay at the 74th Cannes Film Festival on Saturday. The award went to Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe, whose screenplay was inspired by Haruki Murakami’s short story of the same name.
Hamaguchi, who also directed the film, said he fell in love with the Murakami story and teamed up with Oe to make it into a screenplay. “Drive My Car” stars Hidetoshi Nishijima as a theater director who is tormented by grief upon the sudden death of his wife, played by Reika Kirishima.
Toko Miura plays the chauffeur who comes into his life, after which he gradually comes to realize what he has lost. At 2 hours 59 minutes, the film includes additions that Hamaguchi and Oe made to Murakami’s short story.
“Drive My Car” received a standing ovation at the end of its official screening at Cannes on July 11. It received rave reviews from critics, with one describing it as a “deeply moving tale of grief, renewal” and another saying that the last scene was one of the most beautiful moments at the festival.
Just last month, “Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy” — a film in three segments directed by Hamaguchi — won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize, the de facto second place award, at the 71st Berlin International Film Festival.