Popcorn Picks: Learning to Drive
Photo courtesy of TIFF
Learning to Drive is a fun film, unique in its approach to mid-life shake-ups, romance, sex, and starting over.
Starring: Patricia Clarkson, Ben Kingsley, Jake Weber, Grace Gummer, Sarita Choudhury, Avi Nash
Directed by: Isabel Coixet
Choice Quote: “You must go forward because I have not yet taught you to move back.” – Darwan (Kingsley)
The Hype: After 21 years of marriage, Wendy (Clarkson) discovers her husband Ted (Weber) is cheating on her. Their marriage in shambles, Wendy starts taking driving lessons so she can travel to visit her daughter (Gummer) living in Vermont. Meanwhile, her driving instructor Darwan (Kingsley), a devout Sikh who endures racism on a daily basis, acts as both her teacher and her spiritual guide, helping her navigate her troubles while dealing with his own struggling arranged marriage.
The Reality: Kingsley and Clarkson share an undeniable chemistry, with each possessing the ability to elicit both sympathy and laughs from the audience.
Learning to Drive is a very fun film, unique in its approach to mid-life shake-ups, romance, sex, and starting over. It shouldn’t be a surprise, really, given the caliber of its stars. The duo carries this film, which turns the simple act of learning to drive into a sweet and funny meditation on the journey toward new beginnings. The secret: keep your eyes on the road.
The Verdict: Buckle up and enjoy this ride.
Rating (out of 5): 4.0
Learning to Drive is in theatres today (Aug. 28, 2015).