Yesterday, I had the pleasure of watching Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones in the just released film presentation of the play Driving Miss Daisy, (the play was performed and filmed in Australia). It was terrific, but let me back up a couple days and tell you how this came to be.
Tuesday evening after watching a movie on the Hallmark channel and before we had a chance to turn off the tube, Murder She Wrote began. My husband wondered how old Angela Lansbury was and what she was up to. Once again Google to the rescue and I found out she was 88 years old and going strong. That alone was impressive, but wait, next I see that the film of her current accomplishment was being released this weekend to 500 theaters across the US and Canada.
The Mary D Fisher Theatre in Sedona was one of the 500. Sedona is just a little over an hours drive from my home, so we made it a date. An easy choice given the chance to enjoy the majestic sandstone formations that surround the city. They come alive at sunset and glow in brilliant oranges and reds. If you haven't been to Sedona you'll want to put that on your bucket list.
Anyway back to the film...
The story takes place in Atlanta Georgia and spans a 25-year period between 1948 and 1973. (hey, just as we were growing up) during our histories struggles with pride, prejudice, changing times and civil rights. The plot centers on two characters, an elderly Jewish widow named Miss Daisy Werthan and her African American driver, Hoke Colburn.
It would appear that they are very different and they maintain a barrier, but very slowly and subtle as the years pass they grow to realize they aren't much different. These changes are subliminal as you can see in this example. Miss Daisy is terribly distressed to learn that her Jewish Synagogue has been bombed. Feeling her anguish, Hoke is reminded of his own heartache when he and his friend happen upon the lynching of the friend’s father. Miss Daisy is indignant that Hoke would tell her such a distressing story and doesn't have any idea why he would choose to tell her about it. She sees no relationship between the two acts of violence.
It is only when Hoke is retired and Miss Daisy is confined to a home that the two fully realize and or admit in their hearts that they are indeed kindred spirits.
Watching the play, even on film was quite different then the movie. First off there were only three chactures, Miss Daisy, her son and Hoke. The entire story was told on a small stage with minimal props. A bench and a chair with a steering wheel. I was impressed by how engaging and lively each scene was. James Earl Jomes was equally impressive.
These two are just another example of baby boomers and beyond that are enjoying a full and rewarding life.
Films are playing throughout Canada and the US through June 9th. Check your area, it might just be in your neck of the woods. If you go drop me a comment, I'd love to hear your spin on the play.
Here I am, I still go on, you know, like the tides.