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Driving Lessons

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Product Overview

We first meet Ben (Rupert Grint), a shy, bookish 17-year- old, as he begins a very unpromising summer vacation. While the other kids are out having fun, Ben spends these precious few weeks attending bible classes, having driving lessons with his overbearing and overly religious mother (Laura Linney) and helping out at a local old people's home. It's certainly not his ideal summer but, with a demanding, vigilant mother and a passive vicar for a father, Ben is anything but in control of his own destiny.

Ben's absurdly straitlaced world is turned upside down when he gets a job assisting Evie (Julie Walters), an eccentric retired actress. Vulgar, dignified and childish all at once, Evie enters Ben's life with a cataclysmic force. Suddenly caught between two worlds, Ben starts to gravitate towards his employer's unconventional and often bizarre ways, even though it continually gets him into trouble with his mother.

Evie drafts Ben as her partner in a series of adventures, culminating in a camping trip that turns into a road trip when she cajoles unlicensed Ben into driving her to the Edinburgh Festival. Ben reluctantly ignores his conservative instincts and jumps behind the wheel.

What follows is a journey in which Ben and Evie help each other move forward in their radically different lives, as Ben is forced to confront how he was brought up and who he wants to be.


Studio Sony
SKU 204408347
UPC 043396170919
UPC 14 00043396170919
Format DVD
Release Date 6/7/2011
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  1.85:1
Name Walters,Julie
Link Search Link
Cast & Crew
Amanda McArthur - Production Designer
Clive Carroll - Original Music By
David Katznelson - Cinematographer
Edward R. Pressman - Executive Producer
Jeremy Brock - Director
Jeremy Brock - Writer
John Renbourn - Original Music By
Julia Chasman - Producer
Julie Walters - Actor
Laura Linney - Actor
Nicholas Farrell - Actor
Rupert Grint - Actor
Trevor Waite - Editor
Review "Jeremy Brock's Driving Lessons offers [Grint] a more dramatic role compared to the comic-relief label that his character in the Potter films often is stamped with. It's a shame that the screenplay and filmmaking doesn't pursue the movie with the same integrity Grint attempts to instill into his character...Walters sucks up scenes like a Hoover hooked up to the main General Electric line. Her somewhat over-the-top performance sticks out but this could be blamed on the fact that nothing else really sticks out. Linney does her normal soft-spoken hard-ass thing (with an English accent) and Farrell just sticks to the ol' solemnity routine. Regardless, Driving Lessons registers mostly as a castrated Harold and Maude and never attempts to reach for anything besides coming-of-age sappiness. Grint might have talent in him, but with this film, he might as well be casting spells."
Reviewer Chris Cabin
ReviewRating 5
Review "Inspired by Brock's teenaged experiences working for venerable British actress Peggy Ashcroft (A Passage to India), Driving Lessons stars Grint as Ben, the 17-year-old son of a milquetoast vicar (Nicholas Farrell) and his self-righteous, ultra-religious control freak of a wife (an effective, change-of-pace role for Laura Linney)...Driving Lessons would have been a lot stronger if Brock had spent more time fleshing out the family's troubled dynamics (particularly the parents' strained marriage), instead of wasting time on this extraneous narrative thread...As long as Brock keeps the focus on Ben and Evie, Driving Lessons impresses as a modestly affecting seriocomic character study that admirably refrains from pushing all the usual buttons...[Walters] keeps Evie convincingly life-size, even when she's carrying on in full grand dame mode. Thanks to her, Driving Lessons never stalls to a halt."
Reviewer Tim Knight
ReviewRating 7
DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Dolby Digital (5.1), French, Subtitled
Product Attributes
Actor Walters,Julie
Label Columbia/tri-Star
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Bill White, Seattle Post-Intelligencer ...a vehicle for Grint and Walters, who appeared together in the Harry Potter movies. They make a terrific screen couple.
Ronnie Scheib, Variety ...titillatingly "eccentric" British laffer could succeed in the "Full Monty" import slot.
Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle ...a charmingly offbeat story...spirited performances...
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