83 of 88 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Driving Miss Daisy [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Lovely is such an old fashioned word, I know. But that's the word that describes this film, for me. The story of the developing friendship over many years between the black chaueffeur and the older Jewish woman is very heartwarming in its simplicity. Jessica Tandy is marvelous as "Miss Daisy" the fiercely independant, irascible widow, whose advancing age requires her son to employ, against her wishes, a driver/companion for her. Miss Tandy, who originated the role of Blanche DuBois on Broadway in "A Streetcar Named Desire", was a wonderful actress. This was one of her last films, and all the skill, sublety, and experience of her life-long craft come together to create a living, breathing "Miss Daisy." Morgan Freeman meets her skill in his portrayal of "Hoag", the accomodating chaueffeur. He has the manner of a certain resignation that an older black man may have felt in the turbulent, prejudiced south in which he lived, yet exudes dignity. He has the manner of "Hoag" down pat, right down to the closed mouth laugh that I have seen in the old black men who hang out on the corner. This is not a caricature, he IS "Hoag." His relationship with Miss Daisy starts out very rocky, to say the least, but, as time passes, their places in each others lives develope into almost a "marriage", with a quiet understanding of, and dependence on, each other. And though Miss Daisy insists she was not prejudiced, and inherently wasn't, it is touching to see her slowly let go of her last universally accepted beliefs of peoples place in society, where the "colored" help were always servants of some sort, and the line was just never crossed. Scenes such as the one where she and "Hoag" are both eating their dinner in the house, she in the dining room, he , alone in the kitchen, express this. The very thought of them dining together, it just wasn't done. As time goes on, and she becomes quietly aware of the similarities of the prejudices against her religion and the prejudices and injustice against Hoags race, the differences that seperate them become insignicant. Dan Akroyd and Patti Lupone are fine as Miss Daisy's son and his typically '50s wife, who admonishes her black maid for the unforgivable sin of forgetting to tell her she was out of coconut for the ambrosia she was serving to her guests... a '50s hostess' nightmare. There are a few moments when their performances threaten to lapse into parody, but one is only aware of this because this is basically a two person play, and the skill and realism of Tandys and Freemans performances just eclipse the others, they are basically props compared to the skill and, yes, sublety of the leads . The exception is Esther Rolle as "Idella" , Miss Daisys black maid. Though her part is small, and her lines few, she manages to convey a resigned dignity also, and her dead-pan delivery of several one liners is very humorous. Miss Daisys affection and respect for Idella is clearly etched upon her face, however, at Idella's funeral. This is just a wonderfully simple, beautiful film. It never treads into being overly sentimental, thanks to the casting of two very special stars. This film took many by surprise by winning the Oscar for best film of the year, proving that a movie with no special effects, and, that actually tells a story, can still move audiences. The final scene, where their years-long friendship comes full circle, will have tears in your eyes, as Miss Daisy conveys the sweet sad wisdom of the old, who know that "all shall soon pass...."
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 18, 2009 5:17:56 PM PST
M. B. Munnell says:
I think Morgan Freeman's character is named "Hoke."
Posted on Feb 19, 2013 1:41:18 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2013 1:43:26 AM PST
Posted on Mar 27, 2013 10:05:10 PM PDT
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2013 7:28:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 27, 2013 7:29:02 AM PST
Well said "Real Name". Although I still enjoyed this movie.
Posted on Feb 22, 2015 7:12:32 AM PST
Johnny Stugots says:
THAT, my friend, is the EXACT way to review a movie! Great job. Seriously!!
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2015 7:14:23 AM PST
Frank M. Gentile says:
Thank u SO MUCH!!! ;-)
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2015 7:26:17 AM PST
Johnny Stugots says:
Let me see if I've got this right, "Real Name". The source material won a Pulitzer Prize. The film itself won an Academy Award for Best Picture. But in a "handy little nutshell" you think it's "baloney". You are clearly far more learned than the entirety of Pulitzer judges and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members combined, right? Baloney!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!