The movie that touched our lives and taught us what friends are
Another fabulous BluRay release in celebration of Warner Brothers' 90th Anniversary that can now be found at the Warner Archives is Driving Miss Daisy, starring Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman, and Dan Aykroyd.
This release couldn't have come at a better time, I suppose, considering that our country is currently dealing with racial issues again, only this time around it's a far different scale than in the days depicted in this movie.
Miss Daisy (Jessica Tandy) is an aging and very independent white Jewish woman of substance woman living in the south. With age she must deal with her body not functioning as well as it used to when she was younger while her son (Dan Aykroyd) must make the difficult decision to prohibit her from driving again. For her own safety (along with the safety of those around her) he takes her car keys, then hires a driver, Hoke Coburn (Morgan Freeman), to drive her around
She doesn't appear to be too comfortable with this set up - she claims she's not prejudice, but she doesn't seem to take much of a liking to her new driver, either; although, together they explore a world where they are both victims of prejudice, and she learns to overcome her own as she and her driver develop a close bond.
What really makes this movie, I think, is the driver's attitude. He has a rather happy disposition, while Miss Daisy seems a bit on the caustic side. This makes for some rather light hearted scenes, as you'll see in the following theatrical trailer:
There are some not so lighthearted scenes - for example, there's one scene where the Jewish temple is bombed, which is reminiscent of the 1958 bombing of the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation Temple bombing on Peachtree Street in Atlanta , GA. There's also a scene where the driver is questioned for driving such a nice car, and the Deputies questioning him aren't so sure they want to believe that the car actually belongs to Miss Daisy when she speaks up and declares that she's the owner of the vehicle. They ask to see her registration, of course, as proof, and then utter derogatory remarks about blacks as Hoke and Miss Daisy drive away.
Both of those scenes made my heart sink, as they are based on actual events in the not so distant past here in the US. Racial prejudice, I think, comes from ignorance. It comes from not understanding that someone else is a person too, even though they are different from us. We see negative things that some people do and may identify those with a particular race or creed and we tend to judge everyone else who identifies with that group as the same.
I have also noticed that even within various groups there is a kind of prejudice - if a person of color "acts white" or a white person "acts black" then they tend to be scorned by people of their own race. And it's not just limited to race - I've seen it in various social circles. Someone "acts gay" or "acts straight", or they "act retarded", or they "act normal".
So it seems that there is always someone out there ready and willing to reject others for reasons they don't even know. Yet when people truly begin to get to know each other they are able to cast away the negativity towards their differences and celebrate what they have in common, and beautiful friendships can form, and we see that happening in this movie, as Miss Daisy and Hoke form a close bond of a lasting friendship that served to bless them both.
Now available on Blu-Ray Disc, it comes with a nice little book telling all about the movie, the characters, and the crew behind the scenes. The disc also has some interesting special features, including commentaries, the theatrical trailer, and some "vintage featurettes" for you to enjoy.
Prefer DVD instead of Blu-Ray? That's Available too!
As always, the sound and picture quality is terrific - that's part of the beauty of Blu-Ray, isn't it? Put it on your big screen, sit back, and enjoy the show!
Oh, and don't forget the popcorn!