'Drive My Car' movie: all you need to know about the Oscar-nominated film

Drive My Car
Hidetoshi Nishijima and Tôko Miura in 'Drive My Car' (Image credit: Sideshow/Janus Films)

One of the biggest questions many movie lovers may have had after hearing the 2022 Oscar nominations was likely "what is Drive My Car?" We’re here to answer that question for you.

Drive My Car hails from Japan and comes from director Ryusuke Hamaguchi. Adapted from a short story, the movie follows a renowned stage actor and director in the aftermath of his wife’s death. When he agrees to do a production of Uncle Vanya in Hiroshima, he begins to face the haunting mysteries his wife left behind.

The movie had been racking up prizes with the year-end critics awards, including winning Best Picture with the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the National Society of Film Critics and the New York Film Critics Circle. It then landed four Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best International Film.

So, what is Drive My Car? Here is everything you need to know about the movie.

How to watch 'Drive My Car'

After premiering at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival last July (where it won Best Screenplay), Drive My Car began its international rollout in August 2021, eventually releasing into movie theaters in the U.K. on Nov. 18 and in the U.S. on Nov. 24. Here's how you can watch Drive My Car right now.

For U.S. audiences, the movie theater is still the only option to check out Drive My Car, with it playing in select theaters across the country (best to check your local movie theater websites or sites like Fandango to see if it is playing near you). However, that will change soon, as HBO Max will offer the movie starting March 2.

In the U.K., Drive My Car is still playing in theaters, but it is also available to watch online via the BFI Player or Curzon Home Cinema.

If you're planning on seeing Drive My Car in movie theaters, you may want to look into movie theater subscription deals that can make the trip (and future ones) more affordable while also scoring additional perks.

There’s no word yet on where/when Drive My Car may be heading to streaming.

'Drive My Car' trailer 

Not only can you get a look at Drive My Car with the trailer below, but you also will see some of the incredible response that it is getting. In addition to listing its festival credentials, the trailer features quotes from reviews that hail the movie as "a masterpiece" and "an exquisitely observed drama." Drive My Car has a 98% "Fresh" score on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 91 and a "Must-See" designation from Metacritic.

Get a taste of what Drive My Car is all about with the trailer right here:

'Drive My Car' cast

Drive My Car features an entirely Japanese cast, so it’s likely that many outside of Japan are unfamiliar with its cast. Here’s a brief introduction into the main two actors, Hidetoshi Nishijima and Tôko Miura.

Hidetoshi Nishijima plays Drive My Car’s main character, Yûsuke Kafuku. Nishijima has been working in the Japanese TV and movie industry since 1992. His most widely known movie would probably be The Wind Rises, a Studio Ghibli movie from the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, where her voiced the character Honjô in the Japanese version. Drive My Car is Nishijima's most heralded performance in his career, with him receiving multiple nominations for Best Actor from varying critics groups, including wins from the National Society of Film Critics and the Boston Society of Film Critics.

Tôko Miura plays Misaki Watari in Drive My Car, the driver who connects with Nishijima’s Kafuku. Miura first began performing in TV shows and movies in 2010, with her most notable work coming as the performer of the theme songs for the anime movie Weathering With You. She has also received some nods from critics for her supporting performance in Drive My Car.

The full cast list of Drive My Car is available on IMDb

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.