British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.
An elderly Jewish widow living in Atlanta can no longer drive. Her son insists she allow him to hire a driver, which in the 1950s meant a black man. She resists any change in her life but, Hoke, the driver is hired by her son. She refuses to allow him to drive her anywhere at first, but Hoke slowly wins her over with his native good graces. The movie is directly taken from a stage play and does show it. It covers over twenty years of the pair's life together as they slowly build a relationship that transcends their differences. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
It has become fashionable to knock movies like this, a low-decibel kind of personal memoir that offers no lofty message and keeps to straight linear episodes over a given span of time. Yet this is a movie that one celebrates for the sheer beauty of its filming, its gentle sentiment that does have a basic moral, easily understood.
Another quality present in this film is uniformly fine acting by all the characters. Morgan Freeman does ham it a bit, but that is rather in keeping with the script given him. Jessica Tandy IS Miss Daisy, just as she IS Ninny Threadgoode two years later in Fried Green Tomatoes. This is not type-casting, just very fine acting. Some of the lines, especially the ones expressed by Freeman and Tandy in the car after the bombing of the temple, are Classic with a big "C." Anyone who was living over the time period represented will also appreciate the generally accurate sets, right down to the appliances and dishes. The "goofs" are few and far between. One comes away from viewing the film with a deep satisfaction that it was indeed the way things really were back in the 40's, 50's, and 60's. If some are offended by that, it is more a reflection on the evils of the time rather than of this excellent filmed representation.
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