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Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

tomatometer

81

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 52
Fresh: 42 | Rotten: 10

Warm and smartly paced, and boasting impeccable performances from Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy.

100

Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 0

Warm and smartly paced, and boasting impeccable performances from Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy.

audience

82

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 52,455

My Rating

Movie Info

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Alfred Uhry, Driving Miss Daisy affectionately covers the 25-year relationship between a wealthy, strong-willed Southern matron (Jessica Tandy) and her equally indomitable Black chauffeur, Hoke (Morgan Freeman). Both employer and employee are outsiders, Hoke because of the color of his skin, Miss Daisy because she is Jewish in a WASP-dominated society. At the same time, Hoke cannot fathom Miss Daisy's cloistered inability to grasp the social changes

PG,

Drama, Comedy

Alfred Uhry

Apr 29, 1997

Screenvision

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Cast

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All Critics (52) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (10) | DVD (14)

Driving Miss Daisy spans a quarter-century in the intricate relationship of a Southern dowager and her chauffeur, and it is a movie that invites you to appreciate the passage of time in more than one way.

January 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman give exceptional performances

January 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Freeman and Tandy have their own performer's pride, and that transfers to their characters. Tandy, in particular, is almost astringent in her denial of easy emotion.

January 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a story about people, not politics. And perhaps because we can see the actors in closeup on the screen, that is even truer of the movie than the play.

January 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For Tandy, it's her most substantial film role since her sublime work in Alfred Hitchcock`s 1963 The Birds, and she takes full advantage of it; never playing for sympathy, she earns it completely.

January 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Alfred Uhry's adaptation of his Pulitzer-prizewinning play aspires more to complex observation of human behavior than to simple moralism about it. Precisely because it has its priorities straight, it succeeds superbly on both levels.

February 20, 2009 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Driving Miss Daisy makes the simple point that combating racism can sometimes mean confronting a part of ourselves that we'd rather pretend does not exist. For Miss Daisy, it's as simple as admitting that Hoke is not just her driver, but her best friend.

January 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Embalmed in good intentions, Driving Miss Daisy is a creaky adaptation of a Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

January 6, 2014 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Bruce Beresford gives a solid lift to his uneven career with his careful and colorful directing of Alfred Uhry's screenplay, based on Mr. Uhry's prize-winning stage play.

January 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

[Tandy and Freeman] are so affecting they turn what could have been merely well-meant hokum into a touching tribute to compassion and human dignity.

January 6, 2014 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

The heart-warming story of how a bitter old Jewess learns to not be such a bitch to a patient Negro driver.

March 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

An exquisitely acted slice of cinematic comfort food, Driving Miss Daisy marked the coda of one great acting career and the rise of another.

April 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Touching tale of an unlikely friendship.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

It's a bland but decent film that I liked without loving it.

March 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It gets to its hugely emotional destination without ever having to put the foot down; a poignant and provocative road movie.

February 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Ultimately this is an intelligent feel-good movie that had Oscar material stamped all over the screenplay, but lacks the bite or insight that could have turned it into something truly special.

February 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4 | Comment (1)
Film4

Chief among the film's rewards are the extraordinary performances of its trio of stars, Freeman, Tandy, and Aykroyd.

February 5, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Tandy and Freeman are terrific in this beautiful film about the commonalities between people who seem so different.

January 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

Audience Reviews for Driving Miss Daisy

Itā(TM)s easy to admit that during the course of this film, we never see character Daisy in either one of her carā(TM)s front seats. Contrarily, all actor Jessica Tandy does in her role IS take the front seat. I love Morgan Freeman. In fact, if you asked me to name any one of his roles that his disappointed me thus far, all I could do to respond is stare into space and evoke continuous filler words. But the one who really delivers here is Tandy. When we first meet her character, weā(TM)d want to kill her. She wants nothing of Hoke, and she even seems to shun her son upon his hiring him. Yet she claims to never have had an ounce of prejudice in her heart. Tandy gradually turns her character from someone so despicable into someone who enjoys having the company of Hoke. Her character actually, believe it or not, becomes a bit enjoyable; itā(TM)s difficult to even imagine someone other than Tandy taking on such a drastic change of character.

DRIVING MISS DAISY was an interesting film. Itā(TM)s not totally implausible that an elderly 1960s white woman would befriend a black man, so itā(TM)s quite realistic. Add the fact that sheā(TM)s Jewish in and somehow it seems a bit more authentic. Other than the flaws of the script, this was a solidly decent movie. It has its time for light humor, and it has the power to even share with us the laughter Hoke and Miss Daisy enjoy as their friendship solidifies. Furthermore, this is a heartfelt drama that can blend those sweet moments with more sentimental moments. For anyone remotely intrigued by the story, itā(TM)s well worth a watch.
June 4, 2012
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

This is an undeniably sweet movie, that you cant help but enjoy, i love morgan freemans laugh in this movie its so funny, although at times the uneducated character can become a bit annoying, that said it is a sweet, amusing movie, its debateable whether it is solely deserving of the awards although the acting is superb the movie is nothing spectacular to make you wow i love that movie its amazing because it quite simply isnt.
I did enjoy and is worth the watch! sweet drama comedy.
May 17, 2012
FiLmCrAzY
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

Morgan Freeman is as brilliant as always, as Hoke, a chauffeur for Miss Daisy, as her everyday ventures are very eventful. He helps her through her life, and we get many side plots about life along the way. Most of the sets represent perfectly, what is the time period it is set in. I did find some of the conversations between Hoke and Miss Daisy to be a little annoying a frustrating at times, but that is mostly due to the fact that Hoke's education is less than average. Through some terrific acting by a wonderful cast, a script that represents true life emotions with perfection, and a story that is sweet enough to call great, "Driving Miss Daisy" is a great film for many reasons. It is not the masterpiece like some people hope it to be or say it is, but in the end, that doesn't matter, you just smile. "Driving Miss Daisy" is blissful!
February 11, 2012
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Driving Miss Daisy is a one of a kind film. It's a simple, funny, and heart-warming tale of learning to change and friendship. Winner of Best Picture at the Academy Awards, Driving Miss Daisy brought a whole new line of records to the Academy Awards. It is the last film to ever win Best Picture that is PG; it is the last film to win Best Picture without getting NOMINATED for best director; the actress of Miss Daisy Jessica Tandy won the award for Best Actress and from then on became the oldest winner of the Best Actress category; and it is the only film based on an off Broadway production to ever win Best Picture. With these honors, and these wins introduced to you, I want to tell you about the beauty and kindness of Driving Miss Daisy.

Based on the play of the same name, Driving Miss Daisy takes place in 1948, in Atlanta, Georgia. It's about a woman named Miss Daisy (Tandy), and when she accidently wrecks her car one morning, her son, Booli (Aykroyd), finds her a chauffeur. The chauffeur's name is Hoke Colburn (Freeman), and once he becomes Miss Daisy's driver, she is determined to dislike him. The film goes on to show the relationship between the two characters, and how totally different people, can become the best of friends.

The story is comedic and sure Oscar-bait . It's so heartwarming, so funny, so simple, and so entertaining. I loved every bit of it, from when Miss Daisy wakes up at the beginning, to where Hoke feeds Miss Daisy pie. The way it told the relationship between the two characters was perfect, and the message the film sent out was perfect, as well. My favorite scene was when Hoke was driving Miss Daisy to Mobile, and he needs to use the restroom. She tells Miss Daisy he must pull over, but Miss Daisy refuses and tells Hoke to drive the rest of way, for it's only an hour. Hoke agrees, but, as for he is an old man, he knows his bladder can't hold such a burden. He finally tells Miss Daisy he is pulling over, and as he does, he explains to her he will not be treated like a dog, for he is a grown man. He agrees to be Miss Daisy's driver, and agrees to give her respect, but when it comes to his health and his life, Miss Daisy has no control over such a thing. And as he leaves the car, Miss Daisy sits, in awe. I love this scene because it shows that although Hoke has shown so much kindness and respect and how much he's done for Miss Daisy, Hoke's does not revolves around Miss Daisy's, and that he's finally made a stand for himself. It also shows that when you gotta go, you gotta go.
'
The acting within the film was spectacular. Morgan Freeman always put a smile on your face, as he played his jolly, calm character of Hoke to perfection. His laugh was so hearty; it just made you feel good inside. I believe he should've won his nomination for Best Lead Actor, but sadly, that didn't happen. Jessica Tandy played her role of a stern, old Miss Daisy superbly, and she had such a flare of anger it made you feel a bit scared of her. She deserved he win for Best Lead Actress, and it should've been no other way. Dan Aykroyd was also good within the film, but I believe he had a bit too much screen-time, for I believe the film makers just wanted to show off their all star cast.

The cinematography within the film was amazing for a dramedy such as this. The way they shot the scenes when the car was being driven was just amazing. It really showed how much they wanted to make the play into a movie, so they could show the potential of the story. The editing was alright. Nothing really great, it was just fine. The makeup was done really well, for it made Jessica Tandy look 60 years old, then 90 years as the movie went on.

The direction for Driving Miss Daisy was also well done, and I'm extremely confused as to why it didn't even get NOMINATED for best director. Bruce Beresford is a fine director, and would later get nominated for Tender Mercies, but he really should've got nominated for this one as well. I'm not quite sure why the Academy forgot about this director, but it seems there were more to take his spot.

All in all, Driving Miss Daisy is a healthy dramedy not to be missed. My one single flaw for the film was that some of the scenes within the film weren't put to their full potential. Such as the one scene where the synagogue was bombed, and Miss Daisy and Hoke were real close to the destruction, and the blowing up was talked about a lot, but we never even saw the synagogue in its ruins or destruction. It might've been that the film didn't have the budget, but there were a lot of scenes that did this. Besides that, this film was a masterpiece. The message or moral it sent out was the best part of it. Now, there were plenty of morals that I got or went through my head, such as prejudices of different races and religions, illiteracy, and more. But the main lesson taught within this film is that although one might not like someone at first, and no matter how different these two people are, they can always become friends, and always be there for each other. And that lesson made straight to my heart.

Please, if you still don't understand why I gave this film a 90%, visit this link below:
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/user/935623/blogs/?id=703501
July 16, 2011
shahmeer h.
shahmeer hashmat

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Driving Miss Daisy

    1. Miss Daisy Werthan: I've never been prejudiced in my life and you know it.
    2. Boolie Werthan: Okay, then why don't you ask Hoke to go with you?
    3. Miss Daisy Werthan: Hoke? Don't be ridiculous. He wouldn't go.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
    1. Hoke Colburn: Did I ever tell you about the first time I've ever been outside the state of Georgia.
    2. Miss Daisy Werthan: No, when was that?
    3. Hoke Colburn: Oh, a few minutes ago.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
    1. Hoke Colburn: Hey, there, Oscar, Junior... how you boys doin' this mornin'.
    2. Oscar: How's the old lady treatin' you.
    3. Hoke Colburn: Lord, I tell you one thing... she should do know how to throw a fit!
    4. Miss Daisy Werthan: What's so funny?
    5. Hoke Colburn: Nothin', Miss Daisy. We just carryin' on.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
    1. Boolie Werthan: How are you, Idella?
    2. Idella: Livin'.
    3. Boolie Werthan: Where's the vacuum cleaner I brought over here?
    4. Idella: In the closet.
    5. Boolie Werthan: She won't touch it.
    6. Idella: I would if it didn't give me a shock every time I come near it!
    7. Boolie Werthan: It works for me!
    8. Idella: Fine... you clean and I'll go down and run your office!
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
    1. Miss Daisy Werthan: Idella was lucky.
    2. Hoke Colburn: Yes, ma'am. I expect that she was.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
    1. Idella: I wouldn't be in your shoes if the Sweet Lord Jesus come down and asked me himself.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
View all quotes (14)

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Foreign Titles

  • Driving Miss Daisy: The Play (DE)
  • Driving Miss Daisy: The Play (UK)
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