Drive My Car -57th Chicago International Film Festival-International Competition-59th New York Film Festival Main Slate selection | The Times weekly

Drive My Car is one of the longest and most complex films you’ll see at this year’s 57th Chicago International Film Festival, but it’s one of the most rewarding. The film is screened as an encore this Saturday, October 23 at AMC River East at 1 p.m. in international competition. Visit chicagofilmfestival.com for tickets and information. Based on a short story by Haruki Murakami, the film is set to hit theaters on November 24.

The film was last seen as the Main Slate presentation at the critically acclaimed 59th New York Film Festival.

The film’s literary source material is only 30 pages long, but the way director Ryusuke Hamaguchi and screenwriter Takamasa Oe weave it into 3 hours of cinematic gold is pure chemistry.

Hamaguchi, along with screenwriter Oe, won Best Screenplay at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and is already buzzing as a Best Foreign Film nominee at the upcoming Oscars.

With one click in under three hours, the convoluted plot and multiple introductions of various characters and plot threads that sometimes lead through a maze to nowhere is ultimately an absorbing and spiritually rewarding journey.

Hamaguchi uses a number of intriguing applications from its director’s toolkit, as well as stunning photography of remote Japanese landscapes to create a world of its own. There’s even a plot element involving Korean Sign Language. You simply can’t top this for complexity!

In the film, the car becomes a confessional on wheels, as the main character, Nishijima (Hidetoshi Nishijima, acclaimed actor and director, is hired to direct a new production of Chekov’s Uncle Vanya in a remote theater workshop Hiroshima and unwinds his deepest grief to his driver.

As part of the contract with the theater company, he must be transported to and from his apartment on a nearby island to the studio by a professional driver, a young woman named Misaki (Toko Miura) to whom he must entrust his aging car. and shifted. , who is almost a full-fledged character. The car is also a personification of his fractured psyche and wounded soul. It is also a mirror of his Don Quixote, Rubic’s Cube of a personality. In the long operatic, almost Wagnerian unfolding of the plot, past transgressions are atoned for and the two find themselves on the path to redemption.

Drive My Car is more than just a movie, it’s a transformational experience. In addition to the Cannes Prize, he won the International Federation of Film Critics Prize and the Ecumenical Jury Prize, awarded by a jury of Catholic and Protestant filmmakers. ‘Nuff said. For more information, visit chicagofilmfestival.com.