Driving Miss Daisy is a touching exploration of 25 years of change in Southern race relations (1948-73) as seen through the relationship of an elderly Jewish widow and her stalwart black chauffeur.
Bruce Beresford’s sensitive direction complements Alfred Uhry’s skillful adapation of his Pulitzer Prize-winning play.
Set in the relatively tolerant city of Atlanta, Daisy effortlessly evokes the changing periods on a limited budget.
Jessica Tandy’s Daisy is a captious and lonely old stick, living a bleakly isolated widow’s life in her empty old house, and her inability to keep from tyrannizing Morgan Freeman, housekeeper Esther Rolle, and other black helpers gives the film a current of bitter truth, making her gradual friendship with Freeman a hard-won achievement.
Freeman’s Hoke is the essence of tact, with a quiet, philosophical acceptance of his role in life and a secret sense of amusement toward whites’ behavior.
1989: Best Picture, Actress (Jessica Tandy), Adapted Screenplay, Makeup.
Nominations: Best Actor (Morgan Freeman), Supp. Actor (Dan Aykroyd), Editing, Art Direction, Costume Design