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Full Reviews : Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

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Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

Postby JLFM on Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:31 am

Sometimes, a thin plot isn't all bad. Driving Miss Daisy proves that. While undeniably simple in nature, Driving Miss Daisy is as sweet as movies get, and makes for a very pleasant experience.

72 year old Miss Daisy is a Jewish widow who, after getting in a slight car accident, is given a chauffeur against her will. A black man named Hoke, the chauffeur seems to be off to a rough start with Miss Daisy, though instead, a beautiful relationship blossoms.

I almost want to say that I'd like to see more movies as simple as Driving Miss Daisy. But I take it back, because a lot of Driving Miss Daisy's charm comes from the fact that it's simplicity is so rare in cinema, especially nowadays.

The title character, Miss Daisy, comes off as a bit of a grump at first. And though her determined and prideful nature may be a bit irksome at first, you grow attached to her, much like Hoke. Hoke is a lively and kind-hearted chauffeur whose screen presence provides much of the humor in the movie. The chemistry and development between the two is done beautifully.

While there's more than a little bit of formula, Driving Miss Daisy still feels fresh, and is touching without being overly sappy. It's a pitch perfect blend of subtle humor, romance, and sweetness.

Acting is perfect. Jessica Tandy as Miss Daisy is perfectly disguised in the role, and Morgan Freeman is a great choice for Hoke. Dan Aykroyd as Miss Daisy's son, Boolie is also excellent.

The score by Hans Zimmer is more than a little surprising. Known today for his work in blockbuster action movies, this much quieter and simpler score is a nice change of pace. While it's extremely dated, the two main themes (one jazzy, one sobering) are beautiful and memorable.

Driving Miss Daisy will never be one of my favorite films, nor is it a film that I can see myself reaching for when I need something to watch. Regardless, this is an absolutely beautiful piece of cinema that I'm very glad I saw. It's easy-going sweetness and touching warmth is easily balanced with subtle humor, and it never gets overly schmaltzy. To top it all off, Driving Miss Daisy runs at a brisk 100 minute run time, so the thin plot never feels stretched. Driving Miss Daisy is no masterpiece, but it's one of the sweetest things I've ever seen.

Score: 7/10

JLFM
 
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Re: Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

Postby Stewball on Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:42 am

While I agree it's a simple plot, I don't consider it a superficial movie, driven (ahem) as it is by character and dialogue. And such movies don't really go out of style as long as they don't become formulaic--as often happens. But any genre can do that, just look as some of the genres being assembly-lined now (*cough* action *cough*cough* horror*cough etc.). I wish we had more emphasis on dialogue, but right now it's death at the box office, and so often the characters they pick to focus on are so bankrupt you want to throwupt.

I've always thought Driving Miss Daisy has a lot of intangible aspects, like good dialogue, in common with Fried Green Tomatoes, besides the fact they both stared Jessica Tandy and were filmed in Georgia.

Check out the http://www.criticker.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2144&p=38909#p38909 dialogue thread

Stewball
 
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