Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi wins awards at two prominent festivals with two different films in the same year
It is not very common that a filmmaker has premieres of two new films at two prominent festivals in the same year. It is even less common that both of these films receive awards. This just happened to Ryusuke Hamaguchi, whose film Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy – to be screened in Motovun Film Festival’s main program – won a Silver Bear in Berlin. Last night, his other film, Drive My Car, won him Best Script in Cannes.
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy follows an unexpected eternal triangle, a “honey trap” and a misunderstanding leading to an emotional encounter. This omnibus film by Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Asako I & II) follows three women in love and their life full of fortunate and unfortunate coincidences on the road to self-revelation. Meiko is very embarrassed when she recognizes her former boyfriend in the stories of her amorous girlfriend. Sasaki is planning revenge against her professor and drags her girlfriend and occasional lover Nao into it. Natsuko meets a woman in whom she recognizes her first love and starts an intimate and cathartic conversation with her.
Hamaguchi is known by surprising sentimental twists. In Drive My Car he revisits the subject of disappearance, one of the leitmotifs of his films. It is an adaptation of a 2014 short story by Haruki Murakami. It is about theater director Yasuke, who is mourning his wife, who was a playwright and his true love. He travels to Hiroshima on business. There he is assigned a female driver, Misaki, to whom he gradually reveals the secret of his wife.
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy is one of the treats of this year’s edition of Motovun Film Festival. Three emotional life stories connected with classical music, interesting set design and great shots are the ace cards of one of the best films of the season.