Learning to Drive

Learning to Drive

Learning to Drive

When her marriage goes down the tubes, a Manhattan writer (Patricia Clarkson, Shutter Island) finds solace in driving lessons with a Sikh instructor (Ben Kingsley). An adaptation of an essay published in The New Yorker by Katha Pollitt. From filmmaker Isabel Coixet (The Secret Life of Words).

"Wendy (Clarkson), a successful and self-obsessed book editor, comes home to her New York City brownstone one day to find her husband Ted (Jake Weber) leaving her — again. But this time it's for good, and Wendy's initial denial turns into grief, anger, and a hard determination to become self-sufficient. That means learning to drive so she can visit her daughter Tasha (Grace Gummer) at college in Vermont. Wendy's determination wavers when she's faced with the confusing reality of an automobile dashboard, but fortunately she has Darwan (Kingsley), the world's most conscientious driving instructor. As Darwan guides Wendy through her automotive education, his patience invites her to open up about her problems. In turn, Wendy's volatile feelings about her changing marital status serve to highlight Darwan's deeply private concerns about his own impending marriage, and their relationship evolves in unexpected and touching ways." (Toronto International Film Festival)

2014Rating: M, Sex scenes, offensive language and drug use105 minsUSA
ComedyDramaRomance
82%
want to see

Reviews & comments

Flicks, Adam Fresco

Flicks, Adam Fresco

flicks

Director Isabel Coixet reunites with Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson, stars of her earlier film, Elegy, for what’s basically a rom-com with dual controls. Clarkson plays neurotic, well-to-do, Manhattan writer Wendy. She’s learning to drive, under the tutelage of Sir Ben’s Sikh university professor, turned New York driving instructor, Darwan. Learning to drive yourself is a pretty overt metaphor for independence, but that doesn’t stop the film-makers ramming their point home, in a manner that makes Eat Pray Love look positively subtle.

2.0

Rainy Day Delight

Would not rush to see this movie but would certainly watch it on a rainy day cuddled up. Realistic journey. Set your goals and stick with them. Things will always be thrown at you, but continue on your journey. No violence, drugs here. Good old fashion look at two peoples lives. In the end they get there.Interesting

3.0
Variety

Variety

press

Moderately likable but mostly lead-footed drama.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

As this movie, directed by Isabel Coixet, tracks the deepening friendship between people from different cultures and backgrounds, it acquires an unforced metaphorical resonance.

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

A touching, insightful and, at the end of the day, extremely well-meaning film.

4.0
Stuff

Stuff

press

Sarah Kernochan's script is perhaps a bit too stuffed full of big ideas... but boasting two such complicated and charming characters helps melt those quibbles away.

4.0
Screen Daily

Screen Daily

press

A sputtering comedy.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

A richly observed, crosscultural character study that coasts along pleasurably on the strengths of its virtuoso leads.

Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

It’s not the destination, true, but this journey feels all too familiar.

Flicks, Adam Fresco

Flicks, Adam Fresco

flicks

Director Isabel Coixet reunites with Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson, stars of her earlier film, Elegy, for what’s basically a rom-com with dual controls. Clarkson plays neurotic, well-to-do, Manhattan writer Wendy. She’s learning to drive, under the tutelage of Sir Ben’s Sikh university professor, turned New York driving instructor, Darwan. Learning to drive yourself is a pretty overt metaphor for independence, but that doesn’t stop the film-makers ramming their point home, in a manner that makes Eat Pray Love look positively subtle.

2.0
Variety

Variety

press

Moderately likable but mostly lead-footed drama.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

As this movie, directed by Isabel Coixet, tracks the deepening friendship between people from different cultures and backgrounds, it acquires an unforced metaphorical resonance.

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

A touching, insightful and, at the end of the day, extremely well-meaning film.

4.0
Stuff

Stuff

press

Sarah Kernochan's script is perhaps a bit too stuffed full of big ideas... but boasting two such complicated and charming characters helps melt those quibbles away.

4.0
Screen Daily

Screen Daily

press

A sputtering comedy.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

A richly observed, crosscultural character study that coasts along pleasurably on the strengths of its virtuoso leads.

Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

It’s not the destination, true, but this journey feels all too familiar.

Rainy Day Delight

Would not rush to see this movie but would certainly watch it on a rainy day cuddled up. Realistic journey. Set your goals and stick with them. Things will always be thrown at you, but continue on your journey. No violence, drugs here. Good old fashion look at two peoples lives. In the end they get there.Interesting

3.0