March 2, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Brian Dennehy Stars In The Tender DRIVEWAYS – His Final Film

What makes DRIVEWAYS particularly poignant is that it was Brian Dennehy’s last film before he died and his cinematic presence will be sorely missed. Written by Hannah and Paul Thureen, and superbly directed by Andrew Ahn, this is a tender story about new beginnings and how friendships can relieve the pain of isolation.

Kathy, soulfully played by Hong Cha, who was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead, arrives in a suburban New York town from Grand Rapids, Michigan with her son 8-year-old son Cody, played by a very gifted Lucas Jaye. Their mission is to clean up the home in which Kathy’s sister April lived until her recent death. The home is cluttered with stuff piled up from floor to ceiling with not an inch of open space – a daunting task of getting the house ready to sell. To give you a visual point of view, think along the lines of Grey Gardens where Jackie Kennedy’s aunt and cousin lived. Although the bones of April’s home might be salvageable, it is hard at first to see through the debris. As mother and son arrive, the next-door neighbor Del, a lonely Korean War vet, brilliantly portrayed by Brian Dennehy, who gives a powerfully interior performance, watches quietly from his porch. A widower, he eats alone every night, intimately captured by Paul Thureen’s delicate cinematography, which closes in on Del’s loneliness. His daughter Lisa is a judge in Seattle and is trying to find housing for him so they can be closer to each other. The initial relationship between Kathy and Del doesn’t start off so pleasantly, but Cody, a very sensitive, vulnerable child, immediately bonds with him and that relationship is the basic building block of the story. One way that Del fills his time is to play bingo with friends at the VFW and when Del’s friend Rodger, played by an adorable Jerry Adler, forgets to show up to drive him to the center, Kathy jumps in and takes him there. Now because bingo is a form of gambling, the “caller” insists that Cody must leave. There is a big “discussion” and he finally relents and allows the young boy to stay. It is at the VFW center that we meet Del’s other good friend Lester, well played by Stan Carp. However, the relationship between Del and Rodger is particularly close and there are some funny scenes between them. Meanwhile, Cody and Kathy, who does medical transcriptions and is studying to be a nurse, have been staying at a motel but soon it becomes too expensive. She and her son clean out the front porch and that becomes their sleeping quarters. The task of getting rid of the clutter begins in earnest and little by little, they begin to clear out the mess. In between times, Cody would walk over to Del’s porch and each of them would get absorbed in their reading material while looking over once in a while to make sure make everything is okay. Another neighbor named Linda (Christine Ebersole) shows up one day with her two grandsons, Brandon (Jack Caleb) and Reese, (James DiGiacomo) who you just know are not nice kids. She invites Cody over to play with them and the evening does not end well.

Kathy (Hong Cha) with her son Cody (Lucas Jaye) get ready for a garage sale.

This is an emotionally, quietly powerful affecting film, depicting how Del and Cody’s loneliness becomes a pathway to forming a quietly loving relationship. The writing accomplishes this with a minimum of dialogue. It’s also about life’s transitions and friendship which, in only an 83-minute film, captures the essence of each. Ahn’s subtle directing allows his characters to basically find each other and we see how they bond out of a sense of loneliness. One of the joyous moments of the film is the birthday party Kathy organizes for her son at the local skating rink, which turns out to be a failure. Del comes to the rescue and transforms it into a joyous celebration of this special kid.

So here we are with new beginnings and endings – for each of these three principal characters have experienced both. What is particularly sad, is that one of our great American actors, Brian Dennehy, who appeared in 180 films as well as television and theatre productions, is no longer with us, but his body of work, especially his Oscar-worthy performance in “Driveways,” will live in cinematic memory.

Brian Dennehy as Del with Cody, the boy next door played by Lucas Jaye in Andrew Ahn’s “Driveways.”

Distributor: FilmRise
Release Date: Current
Where: USA – VOD
Language: English
Music composed by Jay Wadley
Running Time: 83 Minutes
Rating: PG

Related Posts

‘Safe Camping’ at the VA is Open To All Homeless Veterans

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

The “safe camping” program is geared toward getting homeless Veterans off the streets and provides a way to transition from homelessness to...

Santa Monica Police Warn of Thieves Targeting Seniors Near Palisades Park

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

Two elderly woman robbed along Ocean Avenue recently By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police are investigating two thefts targeting senior...

Santa Monica’s Zero Emissions Delivery Zone Pilot Has Begun: Santa Monica Beat – March, 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Santa Monica’s Zero Emissions Delivery Zone Pilot Has Begun * City...

Video: Closing Down Westside Oil Field?

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Officials are discussing closing a Westside oil field sitting on hundreds of acres of prime coastal land. Learn more in...

Pico Neighborhood Affordable Housing Project Breaks Ground

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Over 70 units of affordable housing come to area near Woodlawn Cemetery By Sam Catanzaro A 70-unit-plus affordable housing development...

Large Properties Drive-up Santa Monica Home Sales Amid Pandemic

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Annual report shows single-family home sales rising By Sam Catanzaro Interest in large properties with five-bedrooms or more helped drive-up...

Santa Monica Police Arrest Parolee for Setting Stolen Car on Fire

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

Alex Omar Aguirre arrested by Santa Monica Police Department By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica resident this week watched as...

Video: Closing Streets to Allow for More Outdoor Dining?

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

A drunk driver recently crashed into a Santa Monica outdoor dining area, bringing attention to a proposal that would close...

Dozens of Santa Monica Restaurants to Participate in dineL.A.

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

First ‘spring’ season of culinary event to begin first week in March By Kerry Slater Dozens of Santa Monica restaurants...

Video: Free LA Metro Rides Could Begin Soon

February 24, 2021

February 24, 2021

LA Metro could begin offering fare-less rides as early as next year as part of a $300+ million program. Learn...

That New Car Smell: Keep it Fresh

February 24, 2021

February 24, 2021

If ladies can have a special relationship with a new pair of shoes, just imagine our connection with a brand...

Danny Trejo’s Tacos Coming to Santa Monica

February 24, 2021

February 24, 2021

Popular restaurant owned by legendary actor coming near Promenade By Kerry Slater Legendary actor Danny Trejo is bringing his popular...

The Importance of Upgrades

February 23, 2021

February 23, 2021

Whether you’re talking about upgrading your home, business, or computer systems, the results are the same: upgrades are essential maintenance...

Violent Crime Declining in Santa Monica: Santa Monica Beat – February, 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Violent Crime Declining in Santa Monica * Santa Monica Animal Shelter...