Yûsuke (Hidetoshi Nishijima) is a respected actor and theatre director whose wife, Oto (Reika Kirishima), a writer, is revealed to be harbouring secrets that draws their relationship into question.
Meanwhile, Yûsuke develops an issue with his sight that necessitates the hiring of a driver, a woman named Misaki (Tôko Miura). Misaki’s own story will incrementally steer Drive My Car into another tangled reflection, further underlining Hamaguchi’s interest in the hidden complexities of people.
In films like Happy Hour and Asako I & II, he has already shown himself to be a filmmaker intrigued by ideas of theatricality and (mis)communication. In Drive My Car and Wheel of Fortune & Fantasy (the second film Hamaguchi has made this year, screening at Tyneside in February) Hamaguchi emerges as a true master of exploring the spaces between people, posing the question: what might happen if were to reveal our true selves to one another?
A film of slow meanders and digressions, Drive My Car eventually explodes the subtext of mundane interactions, exposing the power of desire, confession, secrecy and storytelling. The winner of the screenplay prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Drive My Car is one of the year’s finest films, and heralds the arrival of a master.