‘Drive My Car’ director takes Japanese art house cinema to Oscars

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Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi has made history with “Drive My Car,” the first Japanese film to ever be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture. Photo by Sideshow/Janus Films.

Filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car” is the first Japanese film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. He’s also the first from his country to be up for Best Director since Akira Kurosawa back in 1986. And for Hamaguchi, the success is a lot.  

“I have been working with very small budgets, very small films,” Hamaguchi says through an interpreter. “So to think that my own work is lined up in a place like the Oscars where Hollywood stars are all there, and to think that my film is part of that — it’s really hard not to feel some kind of hesitation, not knowing what to do with myself.”



Kim Masters