Driveways Review: Hong Chau, Lucas Jaye, And Brian Dennehy's Film Is So Beautiful It Hurts

Driveways starring Hong Chau, Lucas Jaye, and Brian Dennehy is directed by Andrew Ahn. The film that released on Amazon Prime is an unforgettable watch.

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Driveways Review: Hong Chau, Lucas Jaye, And Brian Dennehy's Film Is So Beautiful It Hurts

This understated masterpiece about reaching out and touching your neighbour’s hand is so tender and confident in its modest space that not many are aware of it. But to miss this tender deeply moving film is to miss an opportunity to better our lives and our  perspective on the human condition.

At a time when we need that healing touch the most, Driveways comes to us with a simplicity of theme and lucidity of expression that I find unmatched by any recent film. The  story could just as well have been a melodramatic maelstrom about a lonely sensitive studious observant little boy Cody(Lucas Jaye) who arrives in a soporific town with his hassled but capable mother  Kathy(Hong Chau) to take charge of her dead sister’s unkempt overcrowded home.

The  cluttered home is in contrast to the stark bare lives led by the mother-son pair who seem more like friends, sharing deep silences rather than forced conversations. In fact, the amazing director Andre Ahn (have you seen his stunning debut film Spa Night?) builds an invisible bridge among three generations through his three main characters: the mother, the son, and the retired quietly hurting  neighbour.
It is within this arc that Ahn works his muted magic, weaving a pastiche of emotions buried too deep for years to be rendered into tears. The  three principal actors are so brilliant I thought they were pretending to act. Veteran Brian Dennehy who passed away  soon after shooting for this film is no surprise in his brilliance. But the little boy Lucas Jaye is so wise and comprehending that  he holds the film together much as he holds his mother’s frazzled life together with his quiet composure way beyond his age.

I don’t know where the director found this boy. But I want to adopt him immediately. Hong Chau as the single mother trying to give her solemn son (whom she calls ‘Professor’) the life he deserves, is equally exceptional, though she makes no effort to be  impressive.

Nothing in this tightly-wound precisely-edited film is overdone. We as the spectators have to reach far within ourselves to reach  the emotions these three characters secrete. This a meditative melancholic yet uplifting film on the human touch and how empathy   can heal while we are not even looking for comfort.

Image source: IMDb
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