Learning to Drive
Dir. Isabel Coixet, 90 mins. DCP Courtesy Broad Green Pictures. With Patricia Clarkson, Ben Kingsley, Jake Weber, Sarita Choudhury, Grace Gummer. Wendy, played by Patricia Clarkson in one of her finest performances, is a fiery Manhattan author whose husband has just left her for another woman; Darwan (the legendary Sir Ben Kingsley, who also worked with director Isabel Coixet on Elegy) is a soft-spoken taxi driver from India on the verge of an arranged marriage. As Wendy sets out to reclaim her independence, she runs into a barrier common to many lifelong New Yorkers: she’s never learned to drive. When Wendy hires Darwan to teach her, her unraveling life and his calm restraint seem like an awkward fit. But as he shows her how to take control of the wheel, and she coaches him on how to impress a woman, their unlikely friendship awakens them to the joy, humor, and love in starting life anew.
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