Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 1989. The Zanuck Company. Screenplay by Alfred Uhry, based on his play. Cinematography by Peter James. Produced by Lili Fini Zanuck, Richard D. Zanuck. Music by Hans Zimmer. Production Design by Bruno Rubeo. Costume Design by Elizabeth McBride. Film Editing by Mark Warner.
After she gets into a car accident, a Jewish octogenarian (Jessica Tandy) in the American south of the 1930s gives in to her concerned son’s demand that she let him hire her a chauffeur. The driver arrives in the form of Morgan Freeman, a kindly, seemingly sweet old man who is frustrated by her initial refusal to allow him to do his job. As their relationship progresses throughout the years, however, the two of them face their own personal prejudices towards each other as well as those that they face from the outside world. Tandy and Freeman both give career-defining performances, nailing the characters so beautifully that they will remain indelible images in your heart forever. The supporting cast is also superb, particularly an astonishing Dan Aykroyd as Tandy’s son, who does so very much with even the smallest scenes he is given to act in. Taken from Alfred Uhre’s much more intimate play, the story is adapted to the big screen (by Uhre himself) without sacrificing any of its dramatic intensity or its intimacy.
Academy Awards: Best Picture; Best Actress (Jessica Tandy); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Makeup
Nominations: Best Actor (Morgan Freeman); Best Supporting Actor (Dan Aykroyd); Best Art Direction; Best Costume Design; Best Film Editing
Berlin Film Festival Award: Award for Joint Performance (Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman)
Golden Globe Awards: Best Picture-Musical/Comedy; Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Morgan Freeman); Best Actress-Musical/Comedy (Jessica Tandy)