Fiercely independent and penny-pinching Miss Daisy (Jessica Tandy) is appalled when her nephew decides she is too old to drive and hires her a black chauffeur (Morgan Freeman). Set in the Deep South of the 1950s and 60s, the film touches on racism and prejudice but mainly focuses on the developing relationship between the wealthy Jewish woman and her chauffeur, who she initially ignores, then accepts and finally befriends.The film won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Winner of the Academy Award for best picture of 1989, this gracefully moving drama, adapted from the hit play by Alfred Uhry, chronicles the 25-year friendship between a stubborn, ageing Southern widow (Jessica Tandy) and her loyal chauffeur (Morgan Freeman). At first, the self-sufficient Miss Daisy is reluctant to accept the services of a chauffeur, but Hoke is quiet, wise, and tolerant, and as the years pass the unlikely friends develop a deep mutual respect and admiration.
Tandy deservedly won the Oscar for her sassy and sensitive performance, and Freeman earned an Oscar nomination for bringing quiet depth and integrity to his memorable role. Ironically, director Bruce Beresford (Tender Mercies
) was not nominated, but the film won Oscars for makeup and for Uhry's screenplay, in addition to a supporting actor nomination for Dan Aykroyd as Daisy's supportive son. Delicate, funny, and bittersweet, Driving Miss Daisy
was a surprise hit when released, and marked the crowning achievement of Tandy's great career. --Jeff Shannon