What a year it’s been for cinema…

There really has been something for everyone, with the likes of No Time to Die, A Quiet Place: Part II, Dune, Spencer, The Card Counter, The Green Knight, The Suicide Squad, and many more efforts having delighted audiences.

However, we’ve reached the time when film lovers are desperately attempting to squeeze in the gems they’ve missed before compiling their “best of” lists.

Fans of Japanese cinema would argue that no list would be complete without having first witnessed the latest from director Ryusuke Hamaguchi.

With that in mind, let’s address where to watch Drive My Car.

still from Drive My Car trailer, Bitters End

Where to watch Drive My Car

Drive My Car received an exclusively theatrical release in the UK on Friday, November 19th 2021, and was released in the US in theaters on Wednesday, November 24th.

So, cinemas are the only place to check out Drive My Car at the moment.

It will likely arrive on streaming as a rental as soon as the theatrical window has closed, so we can perhaps expect it on the likes of Amazon Video and iTunes as early as late December 2021.

It’s a Japanese film, so you may not find it screening in your local multiplex. However, most arthouses are offering viewings.

As for what to expect, it’s based on Haruki Murakami’s short story of the same name and follows a widowed actor who seeks a skilled chauffeur to drive him here, there, and everywhere.

He ends up paired with a 20-year-old girl and is initially skeptical. However, as the pair begin to talk, a touching friendship blossoms between the two.

It serves as an emotional exploration of such themes as loss, grief, relationships, and more; it was even selected as Japan’s entry for the forthcoming Academy Awards in the Best International Feature Film category.

Who is in the Drive My Car cast?

The film boasts a rather terrific central cast, so let’s highlight their names and respective roles below:

  • Hidetoshi Nishijima as Yūsuke Kafuku
  • Tōko Miura as Misaki Watari
  • Masaki Okada as Kōji Takatsuki
  • Reika Kirishima as Kafuku’s Wife, Oto
  • Park Yoo-rim as Lee Yoon-a
  • Jin Daeyeon as Kon Yoon-su
  • Sonia Yuan as Janice Chan
  • Satoko Abe as Yuhara

“What is acting?”

While in conversation with Reverse Shot, director Ryusuke Hamaguchi was asked what compelled him to adapt the short story for the screen. Was his eagerness driven thematically or visually?

“Both. Certainly visually, for the mere fact that much of the story takes place in a moving car—that interested me. Whether it’s Wenders or Kiarostami, movies that take place in cars, with things moving around outside the windows, are very attractive to me.”

He continued: “Thematically, I was interested in a core question at the center of the story: what is acting? This is a question I’ve long been interested in, so that made it easier for me to approach the story as a whole.

Drive My Car is now in cinemas.

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