Driving Miss Daisy
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Driving Miss Daisy (BD Book)
Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress (Jessica Tandy), and receiving more nominations than any other movie that year, this is the touching tale of an unusual quarter-century friendship between an eccentric elderly Southern Jewish matron and her loyal, black chauffeur. Starring Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman ("Million Dollar Baby," "The Shawshank Redemption") and Dan Aykroyd ("Ghostbusters"), co-starring Patti LuPone (TV's "Life Goes On") and Esther Rolle (TV's "Good Times") and directed by Bruce Beresford ("Tender Mercies"). The Today Show says it "comes close to perfection...to see it once is to remember it forever..." Selected by the prestigious American Film Institute as one of the 400 greatest American films of all time.]]>
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It's a wonderful depiction of racial struggles in the South - an elderly woman who is set in her ways and suspicious of her new chauffeur; a good son who is afraid to change; and a man whose honesty and patience surprises Miss Daisy and eases her toward equality.
It goes without saying that acting performances are stellar; this is Tandy and Freeman. Tandy's son is played by the brilliant and under appreciated Dan Akroyd, a remarkable character actor.
There is truth and beauty and ugliness and familiarity all through this film. This is not a "chick flick" (oh, how offensive that term is) it is a classic film in the category with "Casablanca", "Marvin's Room" and "50/50". It's not an epic, it is subtle, powerful, intense and moving.
Tandy made one more film after this one ("Nobody's Fool") and got an Oscar for neither. Shocking. To compare the two characters is like Streep in "Silkwood" and "Sophie's Choice." For all we know it's two different women.
But the star of this film is the script, which was wisely left close to the stage version. Uhry is a man who grew up in the South born in 1936. His grandfather owned the Atlanta pencil factory where Mary Phagan was murdered and Leo Frank was lynched for the crime. So like Styron, Faulkner and Twain, the subtleties of life in the South add class, precision and detail.
This is a must have
For Morgan Freeman, a quiet retrospective of both one man and a time in our country when second class citezenship wasn't just expected but enforced. A time of train porters and maids, shoe shiners and home laundy services - all the menial jobs delegated to people based not on their qualififcations or lack there of but the color of their skin. This film drives the cruelty of this chapter of our nation home without preaching nor grandstanding it's subtle and it's unforgettable.
The pulse of the film is the relationship of course between Ms. Tandy's Daisey and Mr. Freemans Hoke and becomes of all things a road movie. But a road movie where the destination is known. And the harder we look into the story unfolding the more we contemplate the value of our own fiends as well the longing for true companionship of the human heart.
Dan Akroyd and Ester Rolle are spectacular in lesser roles but no less essential. n fact there's not a single performance that doesn't shine and that doesn't feel "right" a natural cassic and a must own masterpiece.