Driving Lessons (2006)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  13 October 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 9,407 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 70 user | 63 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

A coming of age story about a shy teenage boy trying to escape from the influence of his domineering mother. His world changes when he begins to work for a retired actress.



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3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fay Cohen ...
Old Lady 1
Ruby Mortlock ...
Old Lady 2
Don Wetherhead ...
Old Man
Mr. Fincham
Chandra Ruegg ...
Ricky Champ ...
Tough Looking Man
Rupert Holliday-Evans ...
Store Manager (as Rupert Holiday Evans)
Harriet Brock ...
Child at Campsite
James Brock ...
Child at Campsite


A coming of age story about a shy teenage boy trying to escape from the influence of his domineering mother. His world changes when he begins to work for a retired actress.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


She drinks. He drives. Together it's the trip of a lifetime. See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language, sexual content and some thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 October 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Driving Lessons - Mit Vollgas ins Leben  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$22,603 (USA) (13 October 2006)


$238,774 (USA) (26 January 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During the making of this film Rupert Grint had not yet passed his driving test and so a driving double had to be used for scenes filmed on public roads. Rupert commented that he failed his test during a maneuver as he forgot to look over his shoulder during the turn in the road. See more »


During the initial Edinburgh scenes, the background changes from raining to cloudy to almost clear, to rainy, all basically within the same shot. See more »


Evie Walton: You never read the bloody thing anyway!
Ben: [indignant] I read my Bible every night!
Evie Walton: Liar!
Ben: [shocked] Liar?
Ben: [shouting] You're telling me I'm a liar? I've never met anyone who lied so much in all my life! You make up whole people out of thin air! You make up conversations! You make up money!
Evie Walton: [at the same time Ben's talking] You said you'd be there at eleven and you weren't. The one time I really needed you and you let me down. The one time! Who were you with that was so bloody important you couldn't even...
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening titles, the names of the main cast and crew are arranged around a map as if they were street names. See more »


References One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) See more »


Lord of All Hopefulness
by Jan Struther
Arranged by Philip Pope
Courtesy of Oxford University Press
See more »

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User Reviews

Drives its way right into your Heart.

Driving Lessons From the writer of the critically acclaimed films, Mrs. Brown and Charlotte Gray, Jeremy Brock brings a touching heartfelt dramedy starring Academy Award Nominees Julie Walters and Laura Linney and from the Harry Potter series, Rupert Grint. The beautiful portrait tells the story of Ben Marshall, (Rupert Grint) a seventeen year old boy being held captive in the heart of his religiously neurotic mother Laura (Laura Linney). After his school year ends he decides to take a job with a clever, free-spirited, and "heavy on the bottle" retired actress, Evie Walton (Julie Walters). The pair embarks upon wonderful adventures from camping to walks around the block to the simple conversations about life. Challenging the domineering mother, as well as each other along the way, the two develop a beautiful bond that revolutionizes both their lives.

The comedic elements are flawless and precise especially coming from the British veteran, Julie Walters. Brock uses his unique style to create an infamous and loving nature that first time directors could only dream. Directing comes naturally to Brock as he builds up stunning imagery that breaks the surfaces and plunges the viewer down into an overabundance of adoration and creation. Even the subtle score by unknown composers Clive Carroll and John Renbourn accentuate the tone and manner Brock had no trouble in generating.

Laura Linney is always making her mark in films as she does as "Laura." The bossy and overbearing mother is at times unbearable and with Linney at the helm of it we are engulfed into that persona. The complexity of her character couldn't have been more flawlessly portrayed by anyone else. Rupert Grint breaks away from "Ron Weasley" and tries on someone new. His performance is more responsive than loquacious but Grint gives us someone brand new to a child performance and the viewer gets to enjoy it. But the standout is coming from Oscar nominated actress Julie Walters who gives "Evie" a life of her own. Despite the role being clearly a leading one, Walters fairs better in the supporting category where I believe she can simply take home the prize. "Evie" is a mix of "Clementine Kruczynski" and "Mrs. Laura Henderson" with her free spirit and lovable persona. Hopefully her role will not go unnoticed this awards season.

Driving Lessons isn't an "out of this world" experience but a fine, enjoyable one that any viewer could just kick back and learn a little something about life, love, and friendship coming in the forms of the most beautiful colors and sizes.

Grade: ***/****

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