HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Z for Zachariah
Marty
Walk with Me
JFK
Kirlian Witness, The
Kid for Two Farthings, A
The Freshman
Hear My Song
Wild Wild West
Cure
Doraemon: Nobita and the Green Giant Legend
Locke the Superman
Psycho
Magic Flute, The
Top Secret
Ghost Punting
Hitman's Bodyguard, The
Touch, The
Akko's Secret
Backfire
Loving Vincent
Adventures of the Wilderness Family, The
Plot of Fear
Desperate Chase, The
Baskin
Time and Tide
X - Night of Vengeance
Bunny Drop
Acts of Vengeance
Asura: The City of Madness
   
 
Newest Articles
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
Force the Issue: Star Wars' Tricky Middle Prequels and Sequels
Rediscovered: The Avengers - Tunnel of Fear on DVD
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
   
 
  Driving Lessons Detour AheadBuy this film here.
Year: 2006
Director: Jeremy Brock
Stars: Julie Walters, Rupert Grint, Laura Linney, Nicholas Farrell, Oliver Milburn, Michelle Duncan, Jim Norton, Tamsin Egerton, Rose Keegan
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ben Marshall (Rupert Grint) is a taciturn teenage boy, seventeen and a half years of age and in the midst of driving lessons; the latest one has not gone well, ending as it has with a minor accident, but Ben's mother Laura (Laura Linney) has faith in him. That's not all she has faith in, as she is a devout Christian married to a man of the cloth, Ben's father Robert (Nicholas Farrell), and possibly having an affair with a junior vicar at their church. Laura has devised a play to pay tribute to the Lord, but the only part available to her son is that of a eucalyptus tree, which he dutifully takes. However, when Ben, looking for a part time job, applies to be the assistant to elderly actress Dame Evie Walton (Julie Walters), the eccentric changes his life forever...

I suppose she would or it wouldn't be much of a story. Although a film about the relationship between an garrulous old woman and a sensitive young man might be expected to have been inspired by Harold and Maude or similar, writer and director Jeremy Brock claimed his experiences as a teenage assistant to Dame Peggy Ashcroft were the starting point for this work. It's little wonder it took so quickly for Driving Lessons to show up on British television so soon after its cinema release, as, swearing apart, it is more suited to the small screen than the big. It's fairly predictable, with its would-be poet hero drawn out of his shell and finding his place in the world out of the shadow of his mother, and gaining the advice from Evie that he failed to secure from his ineffectual father.

Just in case you think that Brock is indulging in a spot of religion bashing with his depiction of the domineering mother, Ben's father is a reasonable type who displays the human face of Christianity. But it's Ben's adventures with Evie that take up the bulk of the action, after scene-setting sequences that mark out his hopeless attempts with the opposite sex and just how delicate his sensibilities are. His first encounter with the Dame opens with her letting fly a stream of expletives, not directed at Ben but at the bush she's trying to prune in her garden, all meant to show what an incorrigible old dear she really is. Walters can play this kind of character in her sleep, but acquits herself much as you'd expect here, persuading the mumbling Ben to take her on a camping trip that turns into an expedition to the Edinburgh Festival, much against his wishes. Of course, he has a great time, losing his virginity to a squeaky voiced P.A. but failing to support Evie when she needs it. All this is fine, and certainly more entertaining than a Harry Potter film, but there's a misty eyed, luvvie-esque air to it all, and Brock doesn't know how to bring events to a satisfying close. Music by Clive Carroll and John Renbourn.

[Tartan's Region 2 DVD has an interview with the two stars, a trailer and an audio commentary with the director. Nice menus, too.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3669 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Mark Scampion
  Frank Michaels
   

 

Last Updated: