A Japanese film starring a red Saab 900 Turbo is in the running for Hollywood’s most prestigious award.

When you think of car movies, your mind goes to thrilling chases and wild stunts, but Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Oscar-nominated Drive My Car is a far more slow-paced affair.

The Japanese film tells a story of love, loss and bonding and was adapted from a short story by Haruki Murakami called Men Without Women. What has this got to do with cars (aside from the title), you ask?

One of the film’s principal characters, and a device integral to the plot, is a red Saab 900 Turbo.

The Saab is depicted as much a character in the film as the actors are, and is the location where much of the character connections are made and developed.

Centred around a theatre director and his appointed chauffeur, who drives his car (the Saab) for him, the film uses the car as a sanctuary, a place where the principle characters, confined for long periods of time, are able to talk and work through their grief and relationships.

True to form, the car is introduced as a character with challenges and flaws, and a gradual bond is formed not only between the actors, but with the car.

Even the story on which the film was based featured a Saab, although that was a yellow 900 Cabrio. The director choose the red Turbo to allow the colour to contrast with the multi-season locations of Hiroshima, Japan used in the production.

Watch the trailer below.

The film, which has already three awards at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, has been nominated for four Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Feature and Best Adapted Screenplay).

The 2022 Academy Awards start at 11am today, and you can catch a screening of Drive My Car at many independent cinemas around the country.

We’ll let you know how it goes!

James Ward

James has been part of the digital publishing landscape in Australia since 2002 and has worked within the automotive industry since 2007. He joined CarAdvice in 2013, left in 2017 to work with BMW and then returned at the end of 2019 to spearhead the content direction of Drive.

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