The 2021 movie Drive My Car based on the Haruki Murakami short story of the same name is the first Japanese film to earn a Best Picture nomination in the Academy Awards.
Directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, the film revolves around a widowed man (Hidetoshi Nishijima) seeking to find refuge after the sudden death of his wife. He then meets a bubbly 20-year-old driver named Misaki (Tôko Miura) and they eventually form a peculiar connection despite their differences. The film holds familiar Murakami themes such as isolation, introspection, and grief.
The short story was first released in the author's 2014 short story collection 'Men Without Women.'
It will also be in the running for three other awards during the 94th Academy Awards, such as Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and International Feature Film.
Despite the history-making nomination, the Best Picture nod comes as no surprise as it's already won the Best Foreign Language award at the 2021 Golden Globes and Best Screenplay at Cannes.
Drive My Car will be up against 11 other films mostly coming from the United States, such as Belfast, CODA, Don't Look Up, Dune, King Richard, Licorice Pizza, Nightmare Alley, The Power of the Dog, and West Side Story.
The Hamaguchi film has joined the growing list of international films making waves in American entertainment awards, such as Bong Joon Ho's South Korean hit Parasite, which won Best Picture in 2020.