CANNES: Japanese movie director Ryusuke Hamaguchi and scriptwriter Takamasa Oe shared the Award for Best Screenplay for their “Drive My Car” at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival on Saturday.
French female director Julie Ducournau’s “Titane” won the top Palme d’Or prize.
For Hamaguchi, 42, the recognition at Cannes was the back-to-back honor at the Big Three international film festivals after he received the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize for “Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy” at the Berlin International Film Festival in March.
At Cannes, Hamaguchi entered feature film competition for the second time, after “Netemo Sametemo” (Asako I & II) in 2018.
Drive My Car, based on the namesake short story of Japanese author Haruki Murakami, reflects unique views of Hamaguchi and Oe. In the movie, a stage actor and director who cannot overcome the loss of his wife looks back at himself after meeting a reticent woman assigned to become his chauffeur.
Actor Hidetoshi Nishijima played the role of the lead character. The work will hit the screen in Japan on Aug. 20.
At the award ceremony, Hamaguchi said, “First of all, I want to express my gratitude to Haruki Murakami, who gave us the story.” He asked the audience to “give a big hand to actors and staff members who are overseas.”
Before the ceremony, Drive My Car received three independent awards at Cannes, including the Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics.
Hamaguchi was born in Kanagawa Prefecture. He was highly evaluated in Japan and abroad as a co-scriptwriter for director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Spy no Tsuma” (Wife of a Spy), which won the Silver Lion Award for Best Director at the Venice International Film Festival last year.
Oe is a movie director who is also active as a drama producer and scriptwriter.