Posted by: greercn | July 16, 2016

Learning To Drive

Patricia Clarkson is one of the best actresses in the world. Except for “Cairo Time”, she has rarely had the parts she deserved. In this fantastic film, she finally gets a super part.

She plays an academic writer and critic who is on the edge of divorce. She lives in New York City, but has never learned to drive. He daughter has moved to Vermont and she yearns to visit, but public transport is not an option.

Ben Kingsley plays the patient Sikh teacher. Yes, you will think of “Gandhi”, but only for a minute.

Even with this terrific ensemble, it’s Clarkson who soars above everyone else.

It’s a charming story of immigration, alienation and facing new challenges. No, it’s not really a love story. But the fabulous friendship, acting and writing here will move you and make you laugh.

There are beautifully-observed scenes about getting older, racism and loneliness. When the 90 minutes of this end, you want more. Stay through the credits. It’s worth it.

Director Isabel Coixet was approached by Clarkson and Kingsley because they said they had fun making 2008’s “Elegy”. For me, Clarkson was the best part of that movie, but I am glad it led to them making this superior film.

Sarah Kernochan has written an original script which may be too wise for younger viewers. They looked a little bored. Any woman over 40 will love this.

It was my first visit to the very beautiful Crouch End Picturehouse which is all shiny and new and gorgeous. The restaurant serves fantastic food.

I felt I had had a luxurious holiday in a marvellous place.

And it prompted several delightful conversations with friends and it warmed my heart to see this superb movie in a classy cinema.


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