Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

(On Cable TV, July 2017) In retrospect, it seems almost amazing that such a restrained piece of social-issue cinema as Driving Miss Daisy would go on to win the Best Picture academy award. It is, after all, nothing much more than the story of a growing friendship between an elderly Jewish lady and her black chauffeur, spanning years from the fifties to the seventies. Arguably more about aging than race relations, Driving Miss Daisy is a surprisingly quiet movie. No big speeches, a few soft-spoken disagreements, unusually generous pacing (which is to say: slow) and plenty of character moments. Jessica Tandy won an Oscar for her role as the lady who learns better, while Morgan Freeman broke through the mainstream with his performance. While the result hasn’t aged very well (it’s curiously well-mannered), it’s still not a bad film by any means. Still, most will see it either as Oscar completionists or fans of Morgan Freeman.

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