*Driving Miss Daisy (1989)*

driving

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy, Dan Aykroyd, Patti Lupone, Esther Rolle

Director: Bruce Beresford

Summary: An old Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur in Georgia have a relationship that grows and improves over the years

Other Nominations: Actor (Freeman), Actress (Tandy)*, Supporting Actor (Aykroyd), Adapted Screenplay*, Art Direction, Makeup*, Costume Design, Film Editing

The clear strength of the movie is the chemistry and performances of its two leads, who are both great and play off each other really well. It plays its characters and story extremely safe (heck, it’s even the last PG-rated movie to win Best Picture). This means that it never really tries to say anything all that interesting about race relations, or at least not anything deeper than “the more people of different colors interact with each other in positive settings, the more understanding there will be and the more willing you are to think about their plight.” I will say however that the film does a nice job of being subtler than most when it comes to character development and I prefer it’s approach in that department as opposed to characters just stating their feelings in dialogue. Finally, the makeup is very good and the aging up of Tandy especially over the course of the movie feels realistic. Overall, the film aims for pleasant and inoffensive entertainment for older white people, and it hits that mark quite well due to the great lead performances.

Rating: B-

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