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Learning to Drive (2014)

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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.

Director:

Isabel Coixet

Writer:

Sarah Kernochan
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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 Beau Baxter ... Debbie's Husband
Randy Graff ... Divorce Attorney
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Storyline

Wendy (Patrician 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

Taglines:

It's never too late to begin a new adventure. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

21 August 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aprender a Conduzir See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$66,015, 23 August 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,446,820, 22 November 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Patricia Clarkson, Sir Ben Kingsley and Director Isabel Coixet worked together on Elegy (2008). See more »

Quotes

[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 »


Soundtracks

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

 
A tour of New York, a lesson of humanity and humility by two dysfunctional characters. Simple yet beautiful.
20 November 2015 | by quincytheodoreSee all my reviews

Let it be known that I wish Ben Kingsley was my driving instructor, my old one was not friendly, that jerk just yelled at me constantly. Learning to drive can be an outright stressful experience, but the movie makes it interestingly light and approachable by using comedic clash of personalities and cultures. Also, props to the leads for realizing the modest troubled characters.

Wendy (Patricia Clarkson) is a distraught wife who just finds out that her husband is cheating on her. Thus begin the arduous dance of divorce. Meanwhile, she's decided to take driving lessons as a cathartic act. Darwan (Ben Kingsley) steps in as the instructor. Both of them have a set of unique problems and serendipitously find solace in each other's company.

For a leading female in New York, Wendy is a mess. It's not just Sex and The City mess, but complete wreck for about half of the movie. It's a humble depiction of character as she struggles to come in term with the divorce. The movie maintains a less melodramatic tone, this is a more realistic depiction and not a flamboyant drama.

Ben Kingsley plays as a Sikh here, at this point he can play any role extremely well, but it's nice to see him as someone other than some viceroy in medieval epic. There's a great respect to his Indian heritage and it easily looks genuine. He appears to be a calm voice of reason, although his life itself isn't perfect. It's rather humbling to see that someone with mentor persona deals with his own problems.

The film doesn't have striking development or twist, it's just a few strolls of a metropolis with two relatable characters. It presents a nice presentation, taking time to display the city's nuance with good cinematography as well as spicing the story with steadily flow of light humor. The scenes feel involving even though the two leads live very contrasting lives.

Learning to Drive is a lighthearted drama with nice addition to comedy and amazing acting. Highly recommended for casual audience for the humble and modest nature will soothingly entertain wide range of viewers.


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