Recommended. Movie Night!
Learning to Drive
Continuing our Amazon Prime weekend movie rental exploratory, I found Learning to Drive to be a charming, thought provoking movie, that leaves you feeling hopeful and possibly more in touch with the good things about your own life and personal relationships.
Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley are subtle, talented actors that give nuanced, realistic performances under the direction of Isabel Coixet. The story centers around Clarkson’s character (Wendy) being “dumped” by her husband of 21 years, and Sir Ben Kingsley’s (Darwan) a Sikh immigrant from India who is a taxi cab driver that also gives driving lessons on the side. At the recommendation of her sister (Samantha Bee), Wendy engages this service from him, as she is determined to be able to get to Vermont to see her daughter (Grace Gummer) on her own. A metaphor for gaining her confidence, independence, and self, we follow student and instructor. When they begin their relationship, Darwan is getting ready to meet his wife to be. He meets the woman, selected for him by his sister in India, at the airport, and they start their life together. We glimpse their life too, their developing relationship, and its challenges. Clearly, Darwan, who teaches much to Wendy, learns from her as well. A secondary treat for me was their driving around Queens, providing some very good photography as well as anecdotes about various neighborhoods as they relate to these characters.
There are few movies that make you feel better about “life” after you have watched them than before. This is one that does just that. I highly recommend it!
2015—Patricia Clarkson, Sir Ben Kingsley, Grace Gummer, Samantha Bee, Jake Weber