If you’re one of those people who wants to see all the Oscar potentials before the awards show, you’re in luck: Drive My Car, a limited release in theaters, comes to HBO Max on March 2nd, Deadline reports.
A critically lauded, three-hour Japanese drama, Drive My Car is the kind of movie often relegated solely to the International Film category. But this year, it took surprising Academy Award nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture.
Drive My Car is a quiet movie about grief and how we communicate that — to others, as well as ourselves. So if you’re looking for a gutting and cathartic drama, this is the movie for you. Or maybe you just want to watch someone be driven around in a red Saab for a while. Really, Drive My Car has something for everyone. (Personally, it was my favorite movie of 2021, and I have no problem admitting I saw this gutting drama twice.)
If you want to stream some of director Ryosuke Hamaguchi’s other work ahead of Drive My Car’s HBO Max arrival, two of his films are available on the Criterion Channel: the excellent, moody romance Asako I & II, in which a woman’s lover mysteriously vanishes and, two years later, reemerges as an entirely different person (or so she thinks!); and for the more ambitious viewer, there’s Happy Hour, a quiet excavation of the friendship and lives of four women in Kobe (also very good, but with a five-hour runtime, I recommend breaking this up into multiple viewings). Hopefully, the success of Drive My Car inspires more platforms to pick up Hamaguchi’s earlier work.
Though the movie is based on a Haruki Murakami short story, it takes its source material in a very different and more expansive direction. But if you’re curious, there are three other Haruki Murakami film adaptations. Lee Chang-dong’s terrific, haunting 2018 drama Burning is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. A very melodramatic take on Norwegian Wood from 2010 is currently on Tubi — not a great film, but the costuming and Jonny Greenwood score might make it worth it for you. But unfortunately, the very underrated Tony Takitani isn’t streaming anywhere I could find, though if you have the means, I recommend seeking out a physical copy of it.
In the meantime, though, enjoy this picture of me watching the end of Drive My Car: