Benji Kaplan’s review published on Letterboxd:
This film, not just because of it's length, felt like a grand epic. This may be because of it's incredible dedication to developing the characters. This is taken to an extreme from the start, as first forty minutes are used just to set the scene of Yusuke's marriage.
My thoughts are slightly disorganized on this film, but I know there are a few things I want to mention. I really enjoy the way Hamaguchi frames the driving scenes, allowing for the landscape to absorb the eyes attention away from the extreme long shot of the car.
I think Hidetoshi Nishijima gave one of the strongest performances of the whole year, he crafted a character that I couldn't help but feel so much respect for. He was a man of little words, but his eyes and face spoke of so much inner emotion.
I was not expecting his relationship with his driver Misaki, played really well by Toko Miura, to be a positive one. I was expecting a conflict to develop between them before he came to respect her, but instead they fit immediately, allowing for more complex stories to be told.
We have to wait until almost the end for Yusuke to explain his lack of hatred towards Koshi, which allows for strong tension to be created in almost all scenes of them together.
There is endlessly more fascinating aspects to this film but I am going to leave it at that. I have been wanting to watch this film for months now, I am really happy I finally had the chance. It does not disappoint! I suspect it will become known as a classic, given time. If you haven't yet seen Drive My Car, I recommend changing that!