The 75th British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) was held on January 13 and the film drive my cardirected by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, won Best Non-English Language Film.
This is the second time in history that a Japanese film has won the BAFTA award in this category. Akira Kurosawa’s 1985 masterpiece Had run won the award in 1986.
drive my car won the Golden Globe Award for Best Non-English Film in January and Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival in July 2021.
Hamaguchi’s film, based on a short story of the same title by novelist Haruki Murakami, was nominated in four Oscar categories, including Best Picture, becoming the first Japanese film to land the prestigious Oscar nomination. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is due to announce the Oscar winners on March 27.
The brooding three-hour film centers on a widower who comes to terms with his grief and finds solace in the company of a female driver after the sudden death of his wife and leaves behind unanswered questions.
Director Hamaguchi, who attended the British Academy awards ceremony, expressed his joy saying, “I arrived in England at 5am Japan time, but the moment I received the award really put me to sleep.”
The film was also nominated for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. In the end, the Best Director award went to Jane Campion for “Power of the Dog” and Best Adapted Screenplay was awarded to “Coda” by Sian Heder.
Since debuting at the Cannes Film Festival in July 2021, Hamaguchi’s dialogue-driven Japanese drama has won numerous awards in the United States.
The film also topped former US President Barack Obama’s list of favorite movies of 2021:
The recognition is fully deserved for Hamaguchi, one of Japan’s most thrilling filmmakers with pure talent and a rare set of skills to fully humanize the stories he tells.
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Author: Shaun Fernando