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Driving Lessons (2006)

Rupert Grint , Julie Walters , Jeremy Brock  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Rupert Grint, Julie Walters, Nicholas Farrell, Laura Linney, Jordan Young
  • Directors: Jeremy Brock
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 3, 2007
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PAAJW4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,857 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Driving Lessons" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Oscar(r) nominee* Laura Linney (Kinsey) stars as Laura Marshall, an overzealous, evangelical Christian do-gooder who fills her home with down-and-out boarders, including a senile, cross-dressing murderous mute. Desperate to expand his horizons, Laura's shy teenage son Ben (Rupert Grint, of Harry Potter fame) lands a job tending to self-proclaimed "Dame" Evie Walton (Oscar(r) nominee** Julie Walters, Billy Elliot), an over-the-hill actress with the mouth of a drunken sailer and an insatiable lust for life. The battle for Ben's soul begins as Evie shanghais Ben away from his repressive roots and takes him on an adventure that transforms him from boy to man — almost over his raging mother's dead body! A winning entry at the 2006 Moscow International Film Festival, Driving Lessons is an experience Stephen Farber of Movieline calls "a delightful coming-of-age story."

More down-to-earth than Auntie Mame, Driving Lessons imparts the same simple, but enduring message—be yourself. In the directorial debut from screenwriter Jeremy Brock (Mrs. Brown), 17-year-old Ben (Harry Potter's Rupert Grint, sluggish yet sympathetic) lives with his vicar father, Robert (Nicholas Farrell), and pious mother, Laura (Laura Linney doing a passable, but inconsistent British accent), in a tree-shaded London suburb. Soft-spoken Ben writes poems and looks forward to passing his driver's test. When his mother encourages him to get a job, he becomes an assistant to retired actress Evie Walton (Billy Elliot's Julie Walters, hunched up to look elderly). He finds her overbearing at first. Still, Evie is preferable to Laura, who may do volunteer work with her husband's parishioners, including bizarre boarder Mr. Fincham (Jim Norton), but also cheats on him with Reverend Peter (Oliver Milburn) and engages her resentful son in the subterfuge. Then Evie tricks Ben into driving her to Edinburgh for a poetry reading, where he learns to assert himself and she learns to put the dramatics on hold—at least for a few minutes. Ben also loses his virginity to a woman he just met, sending a secondary message some parents might not appreciate (the film's sprinklings of profanity earned it a PG-13). Driving Lessons itself seems stranded between coming-of-age story and character study. Ironically, Farrell gives the most convincing performance as Ben's bird-loving father. Engaging if uneven, this parable about hypocrisy and self-expression might have been more interesting if presented from his perspective. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Stills from Driving Lessons (click for larger image)

Beyond Driving Lessons at

More Films about Coming of Age

The Films of Julie Walters

Learn to Drive

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Day Reflection of 'Harold and Maude' July 4, 2007
DRIVING LESSONS is a little film that sneaks up on you. What at first seems to be a bit of fluffy nonsense comedy British style is at its base a very fine story about coming of age and the needs for significant friendship of both the young and the elderly. Writer Jeremy Brock ('Mrs. Brown', 'Charlotte Gray', 'The Last King of Scotland') here directs his own screenplay and the result is a cohesive, progressively involving tale filled with fascinating and diverse characters, each performed by sterling actors.

Ben Marshall (Rupert Grint, standing firmly on his own as a developing actor post 'Harry Potter' series) is a quiet, plain little poetic seventeen-year-old living with his bird watching Vicar father (Nicholas Farrell) and his obsessive compulsive, rigid, evangelical do-gooder mother (Laura Linney) in a home where 'needy people', such as the murderous cross-dressing Mr. Fincham (Jim Norton), take precedence over family matters: the mother is by the way having an affair with priest Peter (Oliver Milburn), using Ben as her cover!

Sad Ben is among other things attempting to learn to drive a car. His mother is a poor teacher and decides he needs professional lessons AND needs to get a job to help pay for poor Mr. Fincham's needs. Ben follows an ad and meets Dame Eve Walton (Julie Walters), an elderly has-been actress who is as zany as any character ever created. She hires Ben and the fireworks begin. Through a series of incidents, including a camping trip Evie demands they take, the two learn life's lessons missing from each other's natures: Ben learns self respect and self confidence and Evie finds a true friend who will allow her to drop her stagy facade and be the dear human being she has been hiding.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rupert Grint has grown up! May 16, 2007
I saw Driving Lessons at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2005, and I fell in love with it! I have always been a fan of Rupert, from the Harry Potter movies, and was excited to see him in another role. This was a great role for him to break out in. The first time he sayd f*ck, i was shocked! but it works incredibly well for the character Ben. There was a twist at the end i wasn't expecting, but I pretty much just wanted to give him a hug when the credits rolled up. I have been waiting for the DVD for AGES, and cannot wait to own it!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Driving Lessons May 25, 2007
This is definitely a must buy movie. Though it wasn't released in the United States for long, and I had to buy it through the UK amazon, it was worth it. Rupert Grint is amazing! Laura Linney can definitely pull off insane, and Julie Walters is hilarious! If you love to laugh, then you'll love this movie!!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where "Dead Poet's Society" Failed, June 29, 2007
"Driving Lessons" succeeded. However simple the story may be, the messages and character dynamics are brilliant.

The story begins with Ben (played by Rupert Gint), a teenage boy raised by a repressive mother (Laura Linney) and passive father, acquiring a job with an older actress.

The film follows the two leads who play with the "old couple" dynamic; yet underneath, the story is about the actress, "Dame" Evie Walton, releasing the suppressed character of Ben. Throughout the film Ben blossoms as a writer and poet, discovering the good in life while faced with it's brevity.

Definitely worth watching. There's a lot of films which boast a sort of "grandeur" about poetry and youth, but essentially fall short and sometimes even flat. This story does not. It's simple, comedic and sweet without becoming contrived.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Surprise July 5, 2007
By Gina05
I have been looking forward to seeing this film for quite a while. I was expecting a mediocre film...I just wanted to see it because Rupert and Julie were in it. However, this is a wonderful film and Rupert did a fantastic job! The chemistry between Julie and Rupert was great. This is a must-see film for any fans of Rupert or Julie!
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Like many I checked out "Driving Lessons" because it has Rupert Grint doing something other than Ron Weasley in a "Harry Potter" movie. I was researching to see what else the trio of young stars of those movies had done and discovered that Emma Watson has yet to do anything else while Daniel Radcliffe, who first came to our attention in a BBC production of "David Copperfield," has been performing "Equus" on stage, opposite Richard Griffiths, who plays Uncle Vernon in the "Harry Potter" movies. Here we have Grint playing opposite Julie Walters, who plays Ron Weasley's mum and who now has quite a different role to play in this film by first time director Jeremy Brock, who wrote the screenplays for "Mrs. Brown" and "The Last King of Scotland." Clearly it was the script that attracted not only Grint and Watlers, but Laura Linney as well, when certainly suggests that it is well worth checking out.

Grint plays Ben Marshall, whose only two concerns are getting his driver's license and impressing a girl that he likes. However, his idea of coming to an emergency stop is to drive up on a lawn and run the car into something, which is nothing compared to the disaster that awaits when Ben summons up the courage to read aloud to the girl a poem he has written and she dismisses him as being "weird." Ben's mother Laura (Linney) insists she will teach him to drive, but clearly she does not want him to succeed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Rupert Grint scores big time!
This was recommended to me by a friend. I loved the movie. It was fun and sweet.
Published 1 month ago by odaymom
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Cute & funny movie.
Published 2 months ago by Courtney Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by D. Ryan
1.0 out of 5 stars Stupid and unbelievable from beginning to end
This is the stupidest movie I've seen in a very long time. All the characters, everything that happens to them, everything they do, and every word they speak is irritating, absurd... Read more
Published 9 months ago by J. Martin
4.0 out of 5 stars Driving Lessons
This film was apparently made during the Harry Potter series. I caught it on TV one day but only the end. It was never repeated, that I can tell. Read more
Published 9 months ago by DSAC
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film
I liked the film Driving lessons for a number of reasons. One being the clever title. Once I watched the entire movie I realized the cleverness and significance of it, that I... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Raekwon Samuel
3.0 out of 5 stars Driving Lessons Review
Jeremy Brock’s film “Driving Lessons” was an extraordinary movie with excellent cinematography, fantastic acting, and a cute simple story but I still was sitting there feeling like... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Peyton
4.0 out of 5 stars Review
There were certain parts and pieces in the movie “Driving Lessons” that I was not thrilled by, but overall, I did enjoy this movie. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ally
4.0 out of 5 stars Movie Review of Driving Lessons
The 2006 british drama, comedy written by Jeremy Brock, Driving lessons is a story of an extremely shy and nervous british teenager, who ventures off to look for not only some work... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Klaus Miller
3.0 out of 5 stars Driving Lessons Review
I am going to be reviewing the 2006 film British film Driving Lessons. This movie you could be make a case for both drama and comedy. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ryan casey
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I wish I knew myself. If you ever find out the answer to your question somehow and come back to this post let me know when it will be available.
Apr 9, 2007 by SD Fan |  See all 4 posts
driving lessons
the release date for the movie is July 3rd 2007
through Sony pictures classics
Apr 19, 2007 by Barbara McCrea |  See all 2 posts
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