Review: ‘Driving Miss Daisy’

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.

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

Driving Miss Daisy

Production

Zanuck/Warner. Director Bruce Beresford; Producer Richard D. Zanuck; Screenplay Alfred Uhry; Camera Peter James; Editor Mark Warner; Music Hans Zimmer; Art Director Bruno Rubeo

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1989. Running time: 99 MIN.

With

Morgan Freeman Jessica Tandy Dan Aykroyd Patti LuPone Esther Rolle

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