Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
100 Greatest Characters
Your all-time favourite heroes and villains
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save 44%
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
U
Cast
Morgan Freeman
Jessica Tandy
Dan Aykroyd
Patti LuPone.
Directors
Bruce Beresford.
Screenwriters
Alfred Uhry.
Running Time
99 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Terminator Genisys
2 Star Empire Rating
Magic Mike XXL
2 Star Empire Rating
Dear White People
4 Star Empire Rating
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Hot Pursuit
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Salt Of The Earth, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Song Of The Sea
5 Star Empire Rating
Look Of Silence, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating

Driving Miss Daisy
Big issues take a back seat as two Oscar-worthy actors navigate their way through a Pulitzer Prize winning tale.


submit to reddit


Plot
Jessica Tandy is Miss Daisy, an elderly, stubborn and wealthy Jewish resident of 1948 Atlanta, whose steady life is furrled when her gentle businessman son (Aykroyd), worried about her increasingly nonsensical roadsense, engages Hoke (Freeman) as her driver.


Review
For Driving Miss Daisy, as for his previous tales of the American South, Tender Mercies and Crimes Of The Heart, Australian director Bruce Beresford has clearly given great thought to the casting of the principals. Unlike those movies, however, the extraordinary performances in Driving Miss Daisy are merely an accompaniment, albeit a delicious one, to a film suffused with quality — from the screenplay (adapted by Alfred Uhry from his Pulitzer prize-winning play) to the magnificent period settings and minute attention to detail.

“I wouldn’t be in your shoes if the sweet Lord Jesus came down and asked me himself,” warns Daisy’s maid on Hoke’s first day, and inevitably the old lady gives him a terrible time.

But their relationship inches closer over following years, often to laugh-out-loud effect, and the story follows them as they, and the South, move into the 50s, the 60s, the 70s. The passing years are beautifully heralded by the two of them climbing in and out of a series of ever-modernising cars, a subtlety echoed by the subdued representation of the underlying theme of racial inequality. There are no blazing crosses or fat, murderous racists in Driving Miss Daisy, but Hoke’s insistence on stopping the car to pee with the explanation that “You know coloureds can’t use the restrooms in the gas stations, Miss Daisy”, or the look of horror on Daisy’s face when told of the unseen bombing of her synagogue, are worth a dozen Mississippi Burning-style lynchings and beatings.

Then there are the performances. Morgan Freeman, who reprises the role he made his on stage, exudes dignity, humility and humanity with magnificent ease. And Jessica Tandy somehow plays that Hollywood invention, the cantankerous Jewish mother, with utter conviction. Judging by the muffled sobs on this reviewer’s visit, as the screen darkens on the two of them and the credits roll, many will be thankful that the cinema stays dark to hide the tears.


Verdict
It gets to its hugely emotional destination without ever having to put the foot down; a poignant and provocative road movie.


Reviewed by Philip Thomas

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Steven Seagal's Greatest Hits
Our leading Seagalogist charts the big man's finest moments

100 Greatest Movie Characters
Week 2 of your all-time favourite heroes and villains

10 Things To Look Out For At Comic-Con
Empire's look ahead to this week's big panels

Mirror Match: 10 Movies Where Your Evil Twin Attacks
A new challenger enters… and it’s YOU (but with bad facial hair)

Please Explain! With Arnold Schwarzenegger...
Plus Emilia Clarke on pranks, smiles and 'The Robot'

Bonfire Of The Vanities: When Personal Projects Go Wrong
15 hubristic horrors that went straight to movie jail

Hollywood Jackanory: Stars Reading Things Out Of Context
From Ian McKellen vs. One Direction to Hugh Jackman vs. baking innuendos

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)