In a time when we’re all trapped inside our homes, and more isolated than ever, along comes a quiet little film about the quiet reserves of energy and love that might lie just beyond your driveway.
Andrew Ahn is not afraid of stillness, and his quiet command of the scene allows a gentle calmness throughout the movie. Space is either unbearably small and cramped, or wide, empty and spacious, never anything in-between. He allows us to relish in the quiet, in the space, and in the moment, in a way many other directors couldn’t.
Driveways focuses on single mother Kathy and her son Cody as they clear out her recently deceased sister’s home and the unlikely friendship that forms between Cody and elderly neighbour Del. It’s a simple plot where very little happens; a house is cleaned and people have conversations. But there are so many beautiful, tiny touches within the story that made my heart swell and my eyes water. The simple act of placing an extension lead across a driveway, or going shopping with a friend. Maybe it’s due to our current climate, but these tiny acts of kindness and patience scattered throughout the film’s plot made it feel all the more special and precious.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
Lucas Jaye is outstanding as Cody. A quiet 8 year old with an old man’s soul, he loves nothing more than just sitting and enjoying occupying a space with another like minded individual. His chemistry with Brian Dennehy was heart-warming, and the relationship of their characters Cody and Del is the true heart of the film. It reminds us of the importance of companionship, of sharing stories, of sharing space, and of simply caring for other humans. Their many talks often had me on the verge of tears, and made me long for simple face to face friendships.
Hong Chau is equally brilliant as Kathy, faced with a seemingly impossible task of clearing her sister’s home. She deals with grief, regret, and loneliness also, as well as the guilt and worry many parents are faced with.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
Much like Ahn is not afraid of stillness, he uses silence throughout the film to add to the calming warmth of Cody and Del’s friendship, as well as the gentle sounds of the neighbourhood around them to make the audience feel just as at ease.
Much like the stillness of the film, the design is just as calm. Soft natural colours are used and the colour palette has a dusk tone, adding to the early evening feel that runs through the film.
"Driveways felt important, to make me and hopefully others remember the power of friendship..."
Driveways is the odd sort of film that comes out of nowhere and simultaneously makes you feel so much love as well as being constantly on the verge of tears. Maybe it’s that I’m 5 weeks into lockdown and living alone, so I've become completely isolated; maybe it’s the fact that lonely elderly people are one of the top ways to make me cry, or maybe it’s just a wonderful film. Most of all, Driveways felt important, to make me and hopefully others remember the power of friendship and how hope and care can be just the other side of our homes – something we can hopefully all remember in the next few months.