Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on January 27th, 2003
The Miss Daisy of the title is played by Jessica Tandy. After she wrecks her car, her son (Dan Aykroyd) hires a chauffeur (Morgan Freeman) for her. Miss Daisy is fiercely resistant to the supposed loss of independence this represents, but she eventually lets Freeman do his job. A strong friendship grradually develops between the two. In the background, we catch glimpses of the changing American South as the film moves from 1947 to 1972. Prejudice, both racial and anti-semitic, lurks just und…r the surface of the polite society the two characters move through.
The sound is limited to 2.0, but this is a solid mix. The music has a fine, warm sound, and the sound effects have terrific left/right separation. The environmental effects are strong too, notably in the cotton mill scenes, where the rumble of the machines threatens to swallow you whole.
The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen ratio is preserved. The print is in pretty good shape, barring the occasional speckle. The flesh tones are good too. The picture is, however, quite soft. A kind of mist hovers over the picture, sometimes leading to grain, and the features of any character in full or long shot are indistinct.
The menu has a scored and animated intro and main page, but the other pages are still. The main extra is a commentary by writer Alfred Uhry, producer Lili Fini Zanuck and director Bruce Beresford. The three were recorded separately, and only Uhry’s coments are scene specific. They all have lots of background to provide, and the track is interesting, if a little uniform in its sense of how lovely everyone involved in the making of the film was. There are three featurettes. One is bumpf created at the time of the film’s release. The other two are new retrospectives, with one focusing on the cast and crew’s memories of Jessica Tandy and the other on the transition of Driving Miss Daisy from play to film (and it must be said that the story was opened up very nicely from the stage). Rounding out the extras are cast and crew filmographies, the trailer, and an awards list.
The performances are all top-notch, and the film remains an enjoyable, gently moving comedy. Fans of the film will be well-served by the extras, though the softness of the picture is a drawback.
Special Features List
- 3 Featurettes
- Cast and Crew Filmographies
- Awards List