Driving Miss Daisy
Best Picture. Best Actress: Jessica Tandy. And yet here’s another film that has become a bit problematic. There are these memes circulating out there under the names like “white savior” and “magic Negro.” I think this one has been accused of being the latter. I’m not entirely sure what the term means, and am not really moved to make a search. It sometimes seems to me that there are a lot of people out there who are just determined to find something wrong with just about everything, and who waste a lot of energy attacking films like this which could be devoted to things that really matter. Just my opinion. When all is said and done, this is a fine little movie that Oscar voters love to award. It shows a developing long-term relationship between a white Jewish woman and a black man, and what the hell is wrong about that?
I must mention two supporting players. Dan Aykroyd has been doing very well in supporting parts like this one for about twenty years now. He still does some of the big ones, but I’ve enjoyed him more smaller but juicier roles.
Then there is the car. It is a 1949 Hudson Commodore, and it’s a beauty. Most people would probably not be that impressed, but when I was growing up we were a Hudson family. Dad bought three of them, used, in models ranging from 1950 to 1953. He swore by them, and if I could afford one I’d probably be driving one today. (Restored Hudsons of those vintages start at around $25,000 and can go up to $60,000!) Something most people don’t know is that Hudsons totally owned the NASCAR circuit from 1950 to 1954. Believe me, I left many a Ford or Chevy driver slack-jawed with amazement, peeling away from green lights in Port Arthur, Texas, when I was in high school. A friend and I drove Dad’s 1953 Wasp from Beaumont to New York City and back for the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadow when we were seventeen, sleeping in the car. Not a whisper of car trouble. Steve McQueen loved them, had half a dozen or more. Lee and I saw one of them parked in a driveway once, in the process of restoration, talked to the owner who showed us the bill of sale. I lusted after that car!