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Watch Driving Miss Daisy 1989

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Watch Driving Miss Daisy 1989

The search to cast Daisy was a long one, with actresses such as Lucille Ball, Shirley MacLaine and the two Hepburns, Audrey and Katherine, considered for the part. Even Jane Fonda and Meryl Streep entered the discussion, the magic of makeup able to turn them into 70-year old women and age them into their nineties. In the end it was a stroke of fate, payback even, as Jessica Tandy was cast in the plum role of Miss Daisy. Years before, after originating the role of Blanche Du Bois on Broadway opposite Marlon Brando, Tandy was dropped for the film when the studio demanded Vivien Leigh play the role as she had greater box office appeal. Tandy took it like a pro but knew she had missed out on a chance to further her career as an actress on film. 80-years old when she was cast in the film, Tandy would age 25 years in the film, from 70 to 95, and gave the finest performance of the year. There were wags out there in the critical community, who obviously know nothing about the art of acting, who claim she was portraying herself, or had no arc, as it was the case of an old woman playing an old woman to which I say bull. Watch her, watch her closely. Watch for the gentle shifts, the slow realization she can trust Hoke, the way she begins to understand he might be the best man she knows, the way she begins to lose her faculties, her mind going gently, and watch that final scene between she and Hoke, because it is breathtaking. Tandy won the Academy Award for her performance, well earned.

Parents need to know that Driving Miss Daisy is an Oscar-winning 1989 drama set in Atlanta, from the post-World War II years to the civil rights era. It shows the close friendship between Daisy (Jessica Tandy), a White Jewish woman in her 70s, and Hoke (Morgan Freeman), the Black man employed as her driver. While on a road trip, a trooper refers to them using the "N" word and "old Jew woman." Daisy's synagogue is bombed (not shown), which reminds Hoke of the aftermath of a lynching he witnessed as a young boy in rural Georgia, in which he found his friend's father hanging from a tree. The movie avoids overtly denouncing racism, preferring to hint at systemic injustice: For instance, while Daisy's son, a successful businessman, "supports" the message of Martin Luther King Jr., he's worried that public calls for civil rights would, as a Jewish White man in the South, cost him his business relationships. Daisy similarly doesn't consider herself racist, hotly reminding Hoke that she grew up poor. But she indulges in prejudiced behavior, such as not inviting Hoke to a speech she attends given by Dr. King until Hoke is driving her to the venue. She also falsely accuses Hoke of stealing from her pantry; as she tells her son, "they all take things, you know." For his part, Hoke admirably threads the needle of using enough deference to keep his job, through frequent "yes, sir" and "yes'm"s, but also maintains key moments of agency wherein he calls Daisy out for unreasonable demands. The movie takes place among these themes, as well as themes of trying to maintain your independence while aging, but its focus on delivering a feel-good story of two unlikely friends -- paired with an overly simplistic and nostalgic take on systemic injustice -- blunts more meaningful messages.

In terms of movies, HBO Max will be showing recent hits including Birds of Prey, Jojo Rabbit, and The Way Back. Want something totally new? Try An American Pickle, a comedy-drama in which Seth Rogen plays an immigrant from 1919 from who meets his computer programmer great-grandson (also played by Rogen) in the present day. You could also watch Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn, a documentary about the tragic murder of a Black teenager in 1989 New York. 041b061a72


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