Driving Miss Daisy 1989 (1989) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: An old Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur in the American South have a relationship that grows and improves over the years. Runtime: 99 mins Release Date: 13 Dec 1989
Driving Miss Daisy is an unusual film. Although it's really more of an extended pair of entwined character portraits--spanning a quarter of a century--it has all of the narrative focus and tightness of a more traditionally structured mystery plot.The character portraits are of Daisy Werthan Jessica Tandy and Hoke Colburn Morgan Freeman . The film is set in suburbs of Atlanta and begins in the late 1940s or early 1950s. Daisy is wealthy, but she wasn't born that way. Her son, Boolie Dan Aykroyd runs the successful family business--a large textile factory. At the beginning of the <more>
film, we see Miss Daisy, who is already around 60 years old or so, have a driving mishap--she has the car in the wrong gear and runs off of her driveway, almost completely backing over a 10 foot drop to the neighbor's driveway, at about 20 miles an hour. This naturally concerns Boolie, and when Daisy has a problem finding a company that is willing to insure her after the accident, Boolie hires Hoke--also rapidly approaching "elderly"--as her driver, against her protests. She doesn't want a driver. She doesn't want someone else in her house. She doesn't want to be treated as if she's incapable. Driving Miss Daisy is an exploration of Hoke and Daisy's relationship, all the way into the early 1970s.Alfred Uhry adapted the script from a play he wrote by the same name that was first produced Off-Broadway. Although the play began in a small theater, it had good reviews and good word of mouth, necessitating a move to a larger theater. Uhry eventually won a Pulitzer Prize for his work. He has said that that Driving Miss Daisy was semi-biographical about his grandmother and her driver.That fact probably helped create the remarkable depth of character shown in the film, although certainly director Bruce Beresford, Freeman, who also starred in the play, and Tandy do more than their share to build a charming, frequently funny and poignant portrayal of two very different humans learning to see eye to eye.It's significant that Driving Miss Daisy is set in the South and spans the period prior to and slightly after the civil rights movement in the US. And it's significant that Hoke is an African-American while Miss Daisy is Jewish.Miss Daisy is humorously fussy, prim and proper. Well, to the audience at least--I don't suppose it would be so humorous to have to deal with it. This helps create an initial "formal antagonism" between Daisy and Hoke. Only infinite calm and patience from Hoke earns a gradual softening of Daisy's public displeasure and curmudgeonliness. The unusual structure means that Driving Miss Daisy is more a series of vignettes, each significant to the gradual coming together of Hoke and Daisy, although most incidents are relatively minor in isolation. Uhry makes the film a collection of those small but memorable, important and frequently amusing at least in retrospect moments that make up a lifetime of telling memories in any familial relationship--and Hoke does become family. Eventually, Hoke and Daisy form a bond that is perhaps stronger than Daisy's bond with her own son.As for the significance of Hoke and Daisy's ethnic orientations, Miss Daisy makes a vocal point of not being racist or otherwise discriminatory. She also likes to focus on her humble beginnings--a few incidents near the beginning of her relationship with Hoke hinge on her being embarrassed at her wealth. And of course, as a Jew in the South, she is well aware of discrimination and disadvantage, having experienced it first hand.One of the more touching scenes of the film features Hoke and Daisy driving to Alabama to attend her brother's 90th birthday party. It's Hoke's first time outside of Georgia. They've parked temporarily on the side of the road. Two white Alabama policemen see Hoke and pull over. They want to know what Hoke is doing with a nice, new Cadillac. When they discover that Daisy is Jewish, they are disparaging through implicature, and they make a literally discriminatory remark to each other when Hoke and Daisy drive off. Although these kinds of events are much more major than say, apparently stealing a can of salmon, Uhry and Beresford tie them together wonderfully so that they all have about the same significance.Related to these themes, the film is also charming and moving for juxtaposing a kind of personal consistency throughout time with a rapidly changing society. That's why the profound social changes happening "just next door", so to speak, are largely kept in the background.Technically, Driving Miss Daisy is a gem. It's full of subtly complex and aesthetically pleasing cinematography, well blocked scenes and a fabulous and deservedly famous score from Hans Zimmer. But the story and performances are so good that it's almost difficult to notice the technical stuff.Unless you are completely averse to anything even slightly in the realm of realist drama/light comedy, Driving Miss Daisy is a must-see. It's sentimental but not syrupy and touching but not overly serious--you'll laugh just as often as anything else. Don't miss this one if you haven't yet seen it.
'Hoke" Provides A Great Role Model (by ccthemovieman-1)
Man, did I change my mind about this film, maybe more than any film I've ever watched. The first time I saw it I did not like it and thought it was very overrated. Why I gave more looks, I don't really remember but it went to "fair" the next time and "excellent" by the third. I think the main reason is that I shifted my focus off the irritable old woman Jessica Tandy to the long-suffering servant Morgan Freeman .Once I looked at this story through "Hoke's" eyes, it became an inspiring story. Freeman's character, "Hoke Colburn," simply <more>
provides the best the example of a what true servant of God should act like, plain-and-simple. It's one of the best examples on film I've seen of of patience, kindness, dedication and dignity in a difficult situation. It's also always inspiring to see a nice, good person overturn and win over the opposite with sheer kindness.Another factor that has raised my rating of this film is the latest "newly-restored widescreen edition," which finally presents this movie as it should be, with all its beautiful cinematography. The sets in here are great, a terrific look at the 1950s through storefronts, billboards, automobiles, etc.One thing this film taught me: "Hoke's" attitude isn't the only important aspect of this story. It's how we, as viewers, look at things, too, that makes a difference.
"Driving Miss Daisy" is one of the nicest movies ever made. Winner of 4 Academy Awards including Best Picture of 1989, "Driving Miss Daisy" is about a black man who goes to work as a chauffeur for a stubborn old Jewish woman. Morgan Freeman and the late Jessica Tandy give brilliant performances in the lead roles, and they've never been better. I sure do miss seeing the presence of Tandy in the movies. She was good in just about everything she did in both feature and TV movies her heart in acting always belonged to the stage . She very deservedly won the Best Actress <more>
Oscar for her role as Miss Daisy, a person who at first is not happy about this man coming into her life but learns to accept it and forms a real special friendship. Freeman is every bit her match here as Hoke, the chauffeur. The exchanges between the two in the beginning are very funny and very touching at the end. Dan Aykroyd takes on a rare serious role in "Driving Miss Daisy" as Tandy's son Boolie, a businessman who hires Hoke to be Miss Daisy's driver. And the late Esther Rolle of TV's "Good Times" and "Maude" has a nice small part as Miss Daisy's maid. When this movie came out in late 1989 it was guaranteed many Oscar nominations. Then the nominations came out in February 1990 and "Driving Miss Daisy" got the most with 9 nominations. But one nomination was missing: Best Director. And what a gyp that was! Bruce Beresford did a terrific job of directing "Driving Miss Daisy" and to this day I will never understand why the Academy didn't nominate him. The Academy voters for the Best Director category got stupid that year and Beresford was omitted unfairly. This is a terrific movie and the director should have been nominated. Richard Zanuck, one of the producers of "Driving Miss Daisy", said something in March 1990 when accepting the Best Picture Oscar for this movie along with the other producer and real-life wife Lili Fini Zanuck that I completely agree with. He said quote: "Were up here for one very simple reason and that's the fact that Bruce Beresford is a brilliant director. It's as simple as that!" And "Driving Miss Daisy" is proof. It's a great movie.**** out of four
Unlikely best friends enter old age together (by mdm-11)
Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy in Oscar Winning performance invoke grace and dignity in this sensitive treatment of race relations and old age. Freeman stars as a gentle, wise black chauffeur in the service of a spunky Jewish widow, played by Tandy. As the years pass, their relationship evolves into a remarkable friendship despite their different backgrounds.The film is skillfully adapted from the award-winning play, unfolding against the backdrop of civil rights changes in the South. Somewhat simplistic to be considered a strong statement about race relations, the Best Picture/Best <more>
Screenpaly Oscar Winner makes a heartwarming effort to give witness to dignified aging.Freeman was never better, and the chemistry between the two leads is simply beautiful to watch. This is a very special cinema experience.
Only those with dull minds would find this boring. (by Frosti)
Only those with dull minds would find this boring. A truly perfect movie, in my opinion. I never saw the stage production, but I can't believe it could have been better. I believe the movie was perfectly cast, as well, even though I adore Dana Ivey, who originated the role of Daisy Werthan. By the way, I can see a day far in the future when Morgan Freeman will win an Oscar for a small supporting role in an otherwise forgettable movie. That Oscar will be the reward for movies like this one.
Missing Miss Daisy (by slokes)
It's hard to imagine someone seeing "Driving Miss Daisy" without being moved somehow, yet few films suffer more in terms of reputation from winning a Best Picture Oscar. In disparaging "Daisy," many myths have sprung up that cloud the film's legacy and need addressing.1. "Driving Miss Daisy" won because 1989 was a weak year for movies - 1989 was a great year for movies. Among the films out that year which weren't even nominated for Best Picture were "Glory," "Henry V," "Do The Right Thing," "Parenthood," <more>
"Batman," "Crimes And Misdemeanors," "The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen," "sex, lies, and videotape," "Steel Magnolias," and "When Harry Met Sally." Unlike most years, any of the five Best Picture nominees could have won without anyone being too upset.2. "Driving Miss Daisy" is a syrupy feel-good exercise devoid of grit - While made in an artfully soft-focus and gentle style in keeping with the spirit we associate with the American South of recent bygone days, director Bruce Beresford and writer Alfred Uhry present us with a complicated and tricky story that challenges us right away. How many films get made showing old Jewish women complaining a poor black man stole a 33 cent can of salmon from her pantry? "Daisy" allows its central character to say some astounding things about blacks "They all take things, you know," "They're like children," and yet trusting us to have the tolerance to watch her grow.3. "Driving Miss Daisy" was popular because it features a passive black man - Morgan Freeman as Hoke gives a haunting, multi-layered performance of someone who is anything but passive. Because he is a black man in the Jim Crow South, he must make do working as a driver for Miss Daisy despite her resentment of him which stems from her anger over her infirmity, not his skin color, to address another myth. Hoke is a model of stoic patience, of finding silver linings and angles, and breaking down barriers through common sense. "You needs a chauffeur and Lord knows I needs a job," is how he puts it to Miss Daisy. "Now why don't we leave it at that?" Of course, his patience with Miss Daisy over time yields more than a mere truce, not to mention a healthy raise and some fine used automobiles. And he retains his dignity in every scene.4. "Driving Miss Daisy" is mainly about race - Race is a theme, but the central theme is the passage of time. The film presents us with small vignettes, connected to seasons of the year, charting the growing relationship between Hoke and Daisy. As the characters age, we see every wrinkle on their skin and sense without anything being pointed out too strongly just how fragile and fleeting this thing called life really is. By film's end, long after race has been addressed, we are giving witness to the elusive pleasures of life in the face of Miss Daisy's mortality, a tough message for any movie to go out on, especially one as ultimately life-affirming as this.5. Jessica Tandy won her Oscar out of sympathy because of her age - She won it because she was good. Very good. Check out her scene when she tells Hoke about visiting the Gulf of Mexico and tasting the saltwater on her fingers, then snapping at herself for being so silly. Then you get winning zingers, delivered with impeccable vinegar, like this about her assimilated daughter-in-law: "If I had a nose like Florine, I wouldn't say Merry Christmas to anybody." Ouch! I actually am less won over by that famous line of hers, "You're my best friend," because she makes the point so well with Hoke throughout the latter half of the film in many better ways.6. It's boring - "Daisy" runs only a little over 90 minutes, and makes the most of every one of them. Nothing runs too long. When a member of the household dies, you get a falling bowl and then a singing choir. When Daisy teaches Hoke to read, it's represented by a small sequence in a graveyard and then let go. It would seem abrupt on the pages of the script, yet Mark Warner's crafty editing and Hans Zimmer's deft score make it all seem so natural.7. Films like "Driving Miss Daisy" get made all the time - The only film that mixes comedy and pathos as effectively as this that I'm aware of is "Being There." But while that classic Peter Sellers film is something of a fantasy, "Daisy" is so grounded in reality it makes its ultimately uplifting character that much more satisfying.
This is a film about a lot of things - old age, relationships, assimilation and change. Some will say its too saccherine, or not a realistic look at the civil rights struggle, but they miss the point. Miss Daisy is part of a smaller minority within a majority; while not mistreated the way Hoke would be, she's still an outsider. It takes her until the end of the movie and, since she's in her 90's, her life to realize that she and Hoke are perhaps more similar than they thought.I recall that Dan Aykroyd did the role of Booley for union scale pay, he was so anxious to play a <more>
serious role; it paid off handsomely, as Dan was nominated for an academy award. Tandy is wonderful, and I don't think it's humanly possible for Morgan Freeman to turn in a bad performance. Some have criticized Freeman for being such a subservient character, but they also miss the point of what it was to be an older black servant in the 1950's. A fine effort and a great family movie.
"Driving Miss Daisy" proves to be a beautifully-written and acted little film, based on the Pulitzer-winning play. It tells of how a chauffeur Morgan Freeman, in another great role starts driving for Miss Daisy Jessica Tandy, Oscar-winner for this film who will not drive anymore after an accident in her driveway. Though Miss Daisy does not take an immediate liking to Freeman and does not want to have to be driven around, the two begin to grow closer together and become more friendly over the years. There are just so many great little scenes that really make this film what it is. <more>
My personal favorite scene involves Miss Daisy teaching Freeman to spell so he can find a grave site she is looking for. The interactions between the two of them are brilliant here and the scene is made entirely believable by their great acting. The scene in which Miss Daisy, as she is getting older, starts to lose her memory and thinks she is still a teacher, as she was in her younger years, truly tugs at the heartstrings, but is perfectly done and is another one of the film's best scenes. Perhaps not the Best Picture of 1989 for me, and it does tend to be a little slow at times, but it is truly a worthwhile film, and a must-see for just about any movie lover. A new classic.*** out of ****
An interesting story showing an example of high or rich living. Basically Miss Daisy Werthan Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe winning Jessica Tandy in her son's opinion needs a new driver and house cleaner. When she gets him, she is not very satisfied and refuses to let Hoke Colburn Golden Globe winning, and Oscar nominated Morgan Freeman help her with anything, besides driving. Her son, Boolie Oscar nominated Dan Aykroyd still keeps Hoke anyway. He just keeps driving her, and secretly or purposely doing housework, e.g. cleaning lamps. As the time goes by in the film "Miss <more>
Daisy" discovers how helpful and nice Hoke is. Jessica Tandy is interesting in this film, but it is Morgan Freeman that steals the show. It won the Oscars for Best Makeup, Best Writing and Best Picture, and it was nominated Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design and Best Film Editing, it was nominated the BAFTAs for Best Direction for Bruce Beresford, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film, and it won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical. Morgan Freeman was number 27 on The 100 Greatest Movie Stars, and the film was number 77 on 100 Years, 100 Cheers. Very good!