June 27, 2010

Driving Miss Daisy - 1989

Director: Bruce Beresford
Writer: Alfred Uhry
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy, Dan Aykroyd

"What are you doing?" "I'm trying to drive you to the sto'!" After the 72-year-old Daisy Werthan (Tandy) accidentally shifts into reverse and wrecks her car, losing any hope of being insured, her son (Aykroyd) hires 65-year-old Hoke Colburn to be her chauffeur. Despite initially detesting Hoke's presence, eventually she allows him to drive her around, and the two enter a begrudging acquaintanceship.
Initially, I wasn't enjoying this film. Morgan Freeman is an incredible actor, and his role in this film is disturbingly subservient, very "yessuh, nossuh." Despite taking place between 1948 and 1973, and taking into account the limited role of African-Americans in the South at the time, it still bothered me. However, as the film went on, my love for Jessica Tandy's Oscar-winning performance, Hans Zimmer's brilliant score, and the skill of Uhry's translation of his play for the screen eventually won me over to the deservedness of the Best Picture Oscar that year.

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