“Drive My Car”



Japan’s Ryusuke Hamagachi is returning to Cannes following 2018’s “Asako I & II” with his best-received film to date. At three hours, the talky drama might be a tough sell for the Palme simply because there are many flashier filmmaking efforts on display this year. However, Hamaguchi’s subtle and involving adaptation of a Haruki Murakami short story about a theater director (Hidetoshi Nishijima) and his screenwriter wife (Reiki Kirishima) is — like “Bergman Island” — a film about the art of storytelling, which could resonate with this year’s jury. It’s also a rich exploration of relationships and artifice, with its central character attempting to stage “Uncle Vanya” in Hiroshima while navigating various unexpected complications along the way. Reactions have been strong enough to this one to suggest that the jury probably can at least appreciate Hamaguchi’s artful screenplay, even if they decide a more compact movie deserves the Palme, so expect this one to be in the running for some sort of prize.