44 user 106 critic

Learning to Drive (2014)

2:24 | Trailer
As her marriage dissolves, a Manhattan writer takes driving lessons from a Sikh instructor with marriage troubles of his own. In each other's company they find the courage to get back on the road and the strength to take the wheel.


Isabel Coixet


Sarah Kernochan
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Patricia Clarkson ... Wendy
Ben Kingsley ... Darwan
Jake Weber ... Ted
Sarita Choudhury ... Jasleen
Grace Gummer ... Tasha
Avi Nash ... Preet
Samantha Bee ... Debbie
Matt Salinger ... Peter
John Hodgman ... Car Salesman
Michael Mantell ... Wendy's Dad
Daniela Lavender ... Mata
Gina Jarrin ... Paige
Rajika Puri ... Darwan's Sister Rasbir
Beau Baxter ... Debbie's Husband
Randy Graff ... Divorce Attorney


Wendy (Patricia Clarkson), a self-absorbed New York book critic, is shocked to reality by the sudden end of her marriage. Always dependent on her husband for driving, she must now learn to take the wheel on her own. Her instructor Darwan (Ben Kingsley) is a Sikh Indian who watches with alarm as his pupil falls apart at the seams. He himself is contemplating an arranged marriage with a woman he has never met. As these two lives intersect, both will change in unpredictable ways. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Some moments teach us, some people surprise us, and some friendships change us forever. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


At the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival screening, Patricia Clarkson revealed that her name was attached to this project for nine years, and didn't drop out of it because she loved the script. See more »


[first lines]
Darwan: Slow down. Park there. Mr. Yampolsky, you have followed all the rules. You'll pass your test tomorrow, I'm sure of it. And after you get your license, I suspect you'll buy the biggest, fastest car, and throw all the rules out of the window.
Student Driver: [scoffs]
Darwan: It is not a joke. Remember driving is a freedom. I wish you to enjoy every kind of freedom... As long as you don't hurt someone. You promise me?
Student Driver: Okay, Mr. Singh.
Darwan: Mr. Singh Tur.
See more »


Meet Me for a Martini
Written by Daniel May & Marc Ferrari
Courtesy of FirstCom Musi
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User Reviews

Beautiful collision of culture and humanity with a master class of acting
18 October 2015 | by david-rector-85092See all my reviews

'Learning to drive' is a master class in writing; directing and of course the performance of two of the great character actors: Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley. There is a nobility and dignity to the story that comes from a taut but compassionate screenplay; and the wonderful interplay between the two leads. Clarkson always makes such interesting choices in projects and this is no exception. Her 'Wendy' has a lot to process during the opening moments of the movie; and it is thanks to her exquisite timing and believability; that despite her cathartic scenes early on; perhaps because of them; the audience is with her and her scenario all the way! With the age old construct of an odd pairing; Kingsley's often Zen like 'Darwan' provides the calming influence and ultimately a reciprocity that gives this film its huge warmth and overall success.

In the role of Wendy's daughter is none other than the daughter of another cinematic delight - Meryl Streep: the uncannily voiced and mannered Grace Gummer. How daunting it must be for Grace and her sister Mamie, to hone a craft in screen acting with their legendary mother's presence in film culture. Grace displays her mother's exuberance and complexity with what is really only a couple of scenes here, but makes her mark. But the film, despite some other subplots and ancillary characters, rests with Clarkson and Kinglsey and they are just superb.

If the film feels tight and rhythmically organic; it is due to Martin Scorsese's long time editor Thelma Schoonmaker who brings Isabel Coixet's carefully directed piece together with ease and no fuss; giving it a smooth and perfect running time. This is no epic; no earth shattering movie; but a reflective and nuanced dance between characters from different worlds who collide in the nicest way possible and leave a significant imprint on one another. Not a new idea, but in the hands of these expert filmmakers; it is a joy to be in their audience for the hour and a half journey.

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Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »




English | French

Release Date:

21 August 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Learning to Drive See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$66,015, 23 August 2015

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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