LEARNING TO DRIVE

This small, slice of life drama could stand to lose about 15 minutes, but it’s pleasant, occasionally charming, and there are several scenes featuring leads Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson that are beyond exquisite.

The story is simple – an unpleasant writer (let’s face it, she is) is left by her husband for another woman, she reacts badly but decides to try to regain some of her independence by learning to drive from a well-educated Shikh who has political asylum in the United States but few prospects. Clarkson and Kingsley couldn’t be more different in most ways, but they are linked by their love of words and ideas.

Both have family complications and opportunities for personal growth served up with complications both predictable and less so. The film is reminiscent of Clarkson’s 2009 slice of life/drama/romance Cairo Time. If you liked that one, Learning to Drive may appeal to you as well.

Learning to Drive

One other notable element is how deftly Spanish director Isabel Coixet handles the multicultural elements, which drive the story in some appropriate ways and always feel organic and fresh rather than clichéd. That is a considerable plus for the film.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: