Recently, Warner Brothers reached back into its extensive vault and released three classic films on Blu-ray. The jewel of this trio is Driving Miss Daisy, the memorable tale of a feisty southern woman (Jessica Tandy) and her loyal chauffeur (Morgan Freeman). The movie won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, in 1989.
Driving Miss Daisy is a personal story, told over 25 years, about the relationship between two very different individuals, one a Jewish woman, and the other, an African-American man. They each have their own prejudices, backgrounds, and interests, but over time, become best friends. The movie is also a commentary on race relations at large, and a history lesson on the changing attitudes of the American people, especially in the South.
Tandy won a Best Actress Oscar for the role, an honor she greatly deserved. Freeman, nominated for Best Actor, is equally good, and the chemistry between the two actors feels as real as anything I've ever seen. Even decades after this movie came out, the experience of watching it remains as engrossing and special as ever.
Driving Miss Daisy is buoyed by a terrific supporting cast, including Supporting Actor nominee Dan Akryod as Miss Daisy's son, Boolie, who tries to get her to overcome her pride and accept help as she ages, Patti LuPone as Boolie's wife, and Esther Rolle (Good Times) as Miss Daisy's beloved housekeeper, Idella, who is the catalyst for a very emotional development in the movie.
The release of the movie includes a 32-page book built into the disc case. It has some interesting information on the making of the movie, as well as the actors in it, with lots of beautiful photos. There is also a new featurette talking about discrimination in Atlanta, as well as previously released extras like an audio commentary, featurettes, and the theatrical trailer.
The movie itself has been remastered to great effect. I noticed that there is great detail in low-lit scenes, and while things may look a little grainy, that feels appropriate for the time period. There aren't a lot of bright colors in the flick, but the ones that are present are done well. I didn't detect major artificial contrast, and the visuals looking authentic. The sound is clear, and well mixed. There is a loud factory scene, but dialogue still comes through it. Driving Miss Daisy isn't really designed for surround sound, but as a stereo track, the feed is detailed and rich.