Drive My Car will premiere on HBO Max on March 2. The Japanese film was acquired by WarnerMedia OneFifty and will premiere on the service about three weeks ahead of the Academy Awards. This information comes exclusively from Deadline.
Drive My Car is directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, who also co-wrote the film alongside Takamasa Oe. It is adapted from a short story of the same name by Haruki Murakami. The film tells the story of Yūsuke Kafukuwho (Hidetoshi Nishijima), a renowned stage actor and director who is recovering from the loss of his wife. He ends up connecting with a young woman who is assigned as his chauffeur. The Sideshow/Janus Films project also stars Masaki Okada, Reika Kirishima, Toko Miura, Park Yoo-rim, Satoko Abe, Jin Dae-yeon, and Sonia Yuan.
The film has been getting rave reviews from critics. However, it really landed on everyone’s radar after the announcements of the Academy Award nominations. Drive My Car became the first Japanese film to be nominated for Best Picture. In addition, the film was also nominated for Best Directing, Best International Feature Film, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Drive My Car is First Japanese Film to be Nominated for Best Picture
The Oscar news also led to a bump at the box office, with Drive My Car earning around $1.2 million at the box office this past weekend, according to Deadline. The film will certainly gain more publicity once it becomes more easily accessible on HBO Max.
“As WarnerMedia’s ‘artist studio where innovation happens,’ OneFifty has built a track record of identifying incredible artists whose vision we believe in, and acquiring their extraordinary, groundbreaking content,” said Axel Caballero, Head of Warnermedia OneFifty. “Drive My Car is no exception. It is a beautiful masterpiece – a subtle but haunting work of artistic vision and innovation by a talented filmmaker and creative team.”
However, it will end up having some competition in the streaming world that weekend as West Side Story will land on Disney+ and HBO Max that same day. The Steven Spielberg musical is another Best Picture nominee that many people are certainly waiting to see, especially those who missed it in theaters. Spielberg and Hamaguchi are also both nominated for Best Directing.
Foreign films have received more attention from casual moviegoers after Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite ended up winning Best Picture, becoming the first foreign feature to win the prestigious award. Drive My Car may not be the current front runner, but it is undoubtedly in the running. Drive My Car is nearly three hours long, so get cozy, make some popcorn, and get ready to watch the film at your own pace.