marianist’s review published on Letterboxd:
Drive My Car is a film about art, acting, theatermaking, how this can become very personal for the author and how his tragedies are reflected in his work, but within this journey, there's a beautiful and reflective story about what it is to love. That beautiful complexity of falling in love and the feeling of having your heart broken, is an exploration of loss, rejection, the longing to relive something so loved, that in its last minutes breaks your heart to fill it with hope to life.
Hamaguchi captures all these emotions in its tremendous dialogue, complex characters and visual storytelling, all this in 3 hours (I must say I never felt it wasted itself) which to many may seem intimidating but to me it was one of the most spiritually rewarding experiences I've ever had. Its fascinating ensemble of performances from Nishijima, Miura, Okada, (shout-out to Park Yu-rim who made me tear up in the very short scenes she had) is also worth mentioning.
At a first watch I didn't get to relate or flow with it as much as I did the second time, it's one of those movies that I would say get better on a rewatch, and one that ended up winning me over. Very glad it got the Oscar nominations it deserves.