copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

Did Morgan Freeman find an elixir of life? He is playing an old man in this movie and that was 26 years ago (from the time of this review)! Anyway, Driving Miss Daisy is a film centering on the relationship between an aging Jewish lady, played by Jessica Tandy, and her black driver, played by Morgan Freeman, appointed to her against her will when she can no longer drive herself.


The movie is supposed to cover 25 years and the movie tries to be subtle about its time progression. It uses ways like the change of cars and makeup, and sometimes also spells out the year on a particular item, like a trophy. While this is an intelligent and praiseworthy attempt, it ultimately fails because Morgan Freeman does not look any older as the movie progresses and Jessica only looks older towards the 2nd half. You have to pay attention to the little things know where you are.


That is just a minor complaint but it brings us to a larger one: not much is going on in this movie in the 25 years it supposedly takes. Now, before the millions of you come yelling at me that this is not some action movie, I am well aware of that.


Obviously, this movie is about the relationship between the two main characters, so the events happening around them are not as important, but there is a strange stagnation in both the relationship and the story supporting it In fact, Freeman's character actually states this out loud towards the end of the film. The chauffeur always stays outside of wherever they drive to and these two people do not experience much together. They end at friendlier terms than the ones at which they started, but that is about it.


Yes, it is commendable that the movie did not go the romantic way. It could have been easy for it to go the cheap way and show the two main characters fall obviously in love and it is good that the movie avoids this, as well as puts barriers in the path of their relationship, but again, in supposedly 25 years very little change shows in the behavior between these two or their situation (apart from getting weaker from age). The movie really is about driving Miss Daisy and is perhaps a little too subtle for its own good.


Now, having said that, Morgan Freeman is awesome as the old southern black man. The acting and his accent are fun and his ability to portray this character with realism is praiseworthy. Jessica Tandy is also quite a brilliant actress considering how well she portrayed aging. The difference between her manner at the beginning of the movie and at the end is quite staggering. Their relationship together is interesting and has believability.


The realism is nice. I do not know the exact nature of conversations and relationships from the period covered, but besides having some anti-racist undertones in its story (probably to try and offset the potential offense of the main premise), the movie is surprisingly raw when it comes to showing the people and their characters. Freeman's character is polite but he still has his dignity and his own opinions. Tandy's character, although wants to be seen as progressive, is still an old lady with her own special ways and opinions.


Driving Miss Daisy is a good well-acted film that can be taken seriously and leaves you with a good feeling, but one could desire that a little bit more happens with the relationships and events. At this point I cannot find a reason to watch this movie a second time.

Driving Miss Daisy