starring Hong Chau, Lucas Jaye, Christine Ebersole, Brian Dennehy
written by Hannah Bos & Paul Thureen
directed by Andrew Ahn
by Walter Chaw A sentimental film neither cheap nor schmaltzy, Andrew Ahn's sophomore feature Driveways is a rare beast in more ways than that. It's a measured character piece featuring standout performances from Hong Chau, Brian Dennehy, and a kid, Lucas Jaye, who, in his unaffectedness and ease, is one to watch. Along the way, the picture is also a calm conversation about racial tension, economic privation, and mental illness in these United States, following a woman, Kathy (Chau), who's investigating a house left to her by a sister recently passed. It's tempting to dismiss anything that wears its heart so prominently on its sleeve (and so uncomfortable to look at directly sometimes for all the guilelessness), but you come to find that it's maybe the kind of palliative cure for the collective melancholy ailing us right now. Driveways doesn't condescend or try to teach something, it simply exists alongside its characters and gives us, and them, the space to recognize each other. In that, in this day of big entertainments and embittered satires, it's something like a unicorn.