Filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi and screenwriter Takamasa Oe won the best screenplay award at the annual Cannes International Film Festival on July 17 for Drive My Car, becoming the first Japanese to win the prize.
A brooding, melancholic drama spanning three hours, the film is based on a short story of the same name by novelist Haruki Murakami.
The film tells the story of a grieving stage actor and director who finds solace in a young woman he hires as a driver following the death of his wife. Its main character is played by Hidetoshi Nishijima.
“The first person I have to thank is the writer of the original work, Haruki Murakami,” Hamaguchi, 42, said in his acceptance speech. “I believe (the screenplay) was commended because those who played in the film did a great job.”
In March, Hamaguchi took home the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the Berlin film festival for his film Guzen to sozo (Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy), a collection of three short stories.
The 74th Cannes film festival, which was canceled last year, was held from July 6 to 17 after being postponed from May due to the coronavirus pandemic.
French director Julia Ducournau won the Palme d’Or for her film Titane, becoming the second woman to win the top prize. (Kyodo)