Every once in a while, you’re treated with the most unlikely transformation of grizzly bear to teddy bear.
Brian Dennehy pulls the switch off with equal reluctance, acceptance, recognition and charm in the most marvelous little independent film Driveways.
Directed by Andrew Ahn from the screenplay Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen, this sweet 2019 film takes us to an unnamed suburban town where a mother and her 8-year-old son settle into a strange house that was owned by her sister, suddenly felled. The siblings had not seen each other for a long time, we learn, and she’s aghast at the way-past-cluttered state of the house she’s set out to clear for a sale.
Sitting on the porch next door is an older gent who may or may not be there to welcome them or give them grief.
His choice, the Korean War Veterans hat on his head marking his years.
He spots the kid.
The boy could use a kind word.
So begins a most unlikely friendship that crosses generations, cultural divides and conventional wisdom.
The kid is a smart one, the old man can plainly see, and the world may kick him around some.
The mother has not had things so easy, either.
Dennehy, in one of the last roles before his death earlier this year, is a true gem with his words, raised eyebrows and superb presence. Hong Chau delights as the mostly right, hard-working mom, and Lucas Jaye warms the world as a boy with a head on his shoulders and a heart that’s a big target.
It’s a treat to stream, the bond of this unlikely trio, with its winding river of discovery.