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Driving Lessons

DVD

4.3 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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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."

Amazon.com

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 Amazon.com


More Films about Coming of Age

The Films of Julie Walters

Learn to Drive


Special features

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes

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)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    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
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 3, 2007
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000PAAJW4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,947 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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  • Learn more about "Driving Lessons" on IMDb

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