starring Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy, Dan Aykroyd, Patti Lupone
screenplay by Alfred Uhry, based on his play
directed by Bruce Beresford
by Walter Chaw The heart-warming story of how a bitter old Jewess learns to not be such a bitch to a patient Negro driver in an idyllic pre-integration South, Bruce Beresford's Driving Miss Daisy, released the same year as other such landmark films about race as Ferris Bueller's Black Civil War Regiment and Do the Right Thing, discusses how forty-one years of forced companionship can overcome even the deepest-seated prejudices and resentments. Or, at least, dementia can. We meet Ms. Daisy (Jessica Tandy) as she crashes her car, and we meet Hoke (Morgan Freeman) when he begs Miss Daisy's son Boolie (Dan Aykroyd) for a job as her chauffeur--meaning they're both prisoners of circumstance, see? Meaning this is an unlikely but no less racially naïve remake of Stanley Kramer's embarrassing melodrama The Defiant Ones, scored by Hans Zimmer with outtakes from his synth-heavy, bullshit-rich Rain Man score, all teddy bears humping and building music boxes and shit. Meaning, essentially, that we are to believe there is no substantive difference between a wealthy white woman needing to hire a driver and a destitute black man looking for work in 1948 Atlanta. My favourite scene is either the one where Hoke asks Miss Daisy's permission to make water, or the one where Hoke says something and Miss Daisy tells him to "be still."