Review: Drive My Car

Yûsuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima) is a stage actor/director whose wife, Oto (Reika Kirishima) passes away unexpectedly. In the years following as he tries to cope, he's hired to direct a production of Uncle Vanya in Hiroshima, and is assigned a driver, Misaki. (Tôko Miura) They form an unexpected friendship.

If there's one thing you've heard about Drive My Car aside from it being a Best Picture nominee at the Oscars, it's probably that the opening credits don't roll until 40 minutes into the film. When they queued up for me, I was surprised that amount of time had passed. It didn't feel like it. Then as it kept going, I started to feel its runtime.

There's a lot of beautiful things about this movie. Some parts are nearly perfect. I liked those introspective moments between Yûsuke and Misaki. Yûsuke is a complicated guy and is very meticulous in his ways. I liked that he had those traits, but didn't come off as an asshole because of them. He's just got a method and it works for him. A lesser film could've shown him in a worse light. Misaki doesn't get nearly as much time devoted to her story, but she's mysterious and the little bits she gives us are fascinating as we watch her sort of drift along.

That being said, as much as I enjoyed this film, They could've easily shaved off 45 minutes. It becomes very indulgent with its time. I kept noticing things I would've trimmed here or there, and that's not something I want to think about during a quieter moment of a film.

So is this for you? Thankfully it's on HBO Max, so if you have that service, and don't have time to devout 3 hours, you can watch it in parts. It's one of the better Best Picture nominees in my opinion.

Grade: B+


  1. I liked it but for some reason it never quite clicked for me the way it has with most people. Again, good movie for sure. But I just can't put my finger on why I didn't fall head over heels for it. In fact, I've struggled so much with putting my thoughts together that it's one of the few recent movies I haven't reviewed.

    1. Honestly, for me it's the length. It needed more editing.

  2. 3 hours? Just reading what this is about tells me it could have been edited more.

    1. lol thankfully it's a good way to spend three hours.

  3. I do want to see this even though I am not familiar with the work of the filmmaker nor do I have access to HBO Max at the moment.

    1. I hope you can get HBO Max again soon. So many great things to watch!


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