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Signaling a Shift, 'Drive My Car' Rides Into the Oscars

Jury member and filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi poses for photographers at the photo call for the jury at the International Film Festival Berlin in Berlin, Germany on Feb. 10, 2022. Hamaguchi is nominated for an Oscar for best director for "Drive My Car." (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, File)
Jury member and filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi poses for photographers at the photo call for the jury at the International Film Festival Berlin in Berlin, Germany on Feb. 10, 2022. Hamaguchi is nominated for an Oscar for best director for "Drive My Car." (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, File)

New York (AP) -- Since the flurry of text messages that greeted him when he stepped off a plane in Berlin on Oscar nominations morning, Ryusuke Hamaguchi has had some time to reflect on why his film, “Drive My Car, ” has resonated as it has.

But he’s not so sure. There’s only so many ways to reason how a three-hour Japanese drama in which the opening credits don’t even arrive until 40 minutes in, can rise to Hollywood’s highest summit. “Drive My Car,” an emotional epic of grief, connection and art, is nominated for four Oscars, including best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay.