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American Women's Club of Hamburg


USA 2019
Opening May 7, 2021 (VOD)

Directed by: Andrew Ahn
Writing credits: Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen
Principal actors: Brian Dennehy, Lucas Jaye, Hong Chau

DrivewaysIn unfamiliar surroundings after a long drive, Kathy (Hong Chau) and eight-year-old Cody (Lucas Jaye) are caught unawares upon arrival at her older sister’s house—it is jam-packed full. Kathy and Grace had been estranged for years, thus the strong-willed single mother’s plan was to quickly empty and sell the house she inherited. But the motel room is expensive, so eventually Kathy decides to camp out in the house. A sensitive, quiet lad, Cody entertains himself as days idle away. Curiously watching from his front porch next-door, Del (Brian Dennehy) makes their acquaintanceship by coming to their aid. A retired widower, Del’s only daughter lives a continent away in California, so mowing the lawn and playing bingo at VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) with pals are weekly highlights. An unlikely friendship springs up between Cody and the normally curt Del; they comfortably share stretches of silence, and Cody learns about navigating a riding lawn mower. Watching, musing, before long Kathy and Del develop an easy camaraderie. As summer passes, and in his twilight years, Del learns a great deal from them, while reflecting on a lifetime of choices.

Beautifully straightforward and well constructed, Driveways is about perceptions, and the generosity of wisdom passed amongst generations. Independent Korean-American director Andrew Ahn’s finesse is tangible throughout in conveying Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen’s finely crafted original screenplay. The film’s message, sans nonessential verbal clutter, is startlingly impressive – beyond familial environments, each generation is capable of complementing the other. Editor Katie Mcquerrey carefully assembled cinematographer Ki Jin Kim’s insightful footage into a deliberate, perceptive film accompanied by Jay Wadley’s melodious music. Driveways’ strength is its confidence that human interaction is basicly steeped in civility; it is a fitting swansong performance from Brian Dennehy (✝︎ 04.04.2020). This small film has a gigantic heart, and will surely warm the cockles of audiences’ hearts. 83 minutes ()

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