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.

“The more I think about this, the less sure I am,” says Hamaguchi. “But one thing I can say is that this is a very normal movie. It’s about people who have all these different flaws each trying to have a better life for themselves. Loving someone or something is one way to do that. But when we love someone, one day you lose or separate from that person.

Read more