I am so tired of being grumpy about the movies we've seen recently in our Oscar-winning Best Picture Odyssey.  I should mention that, although we've beeng going roughly in chronological order, we haven't been watching them all. Some of the early ones aren't available, and of the later ones we've skipped those Porter had already seen.  Our next one is Gladiator (2000), and of all those remaining, the only one I'm looking forward to is A Beautiful Mind.  We recently discovered, however, that we had somehow skipped Driving Miss Daisy (1989).

At last I can report a positive experience!  So many of the recent movies have been downright revolting, or at best blah and dissatisfying.  Driving Miss Daisy was delightful from beginning to end.  The PG rating, I have decided, is far too broad.  This movie was rated PG; as far as I can tell, the cause being one, brief instance of bad language (ask me if you care to know what it is) that was appropriate to the context.  There are plenty of other PG movies I've found much, much more offensive.  There is one scary scene on which I won't elaborate, but it wouldn't frighten anyone ignorant of Alabama history.  Not that the movie is appropriate for young children anyway.  It is an adult film, but only because it's about characters, not action.

One of makers of the movie (I don't remember whether it was producer, director, or writer) said that one of the most gratifiying things was all the letters he received from old Southerners thanking him for making a movie that was so true to the South they lived in.  I suppose one of the reasons I like it was that it brought back memories of my own grandparents—they didn't live in Georgia, where Driving Miss Daisy is set, but Florida was much more of a Southern state in those days.  My grandparents weren't rich, and they weren't Jewish, but there was still much to recognize about the people, the town, the language, and the lifestyles.

If you haven't seen Driving Miss Daisy, do.  It's a delightful story about people who seem as if they really could have existed—in fact, they did; the writer modelled them after people in his own life.  The seamy side of the historical South is not ignored by any means, but the goodness and humanity that shine through make it more realistic, not less.

Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, March 2, 2008 at 8:07 pm | Edit
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