AWFJ Movie of the Week, Aug 17 – Aug 23: LEARNING TO DRIVE

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learning to drive posterOpening August 21, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is Learning to Drive, the new film from veteran Spanish director Isabel Coixet. Based on the New Yorker essay by Katha Pollitt, it stars Patricia Clarkson as a New York writer who works to get her first driver’s license after her marriage breaks down. Read on…

Adapted by screenwriter Sarah Kernochan (Nine ½ Weeks , Sommersby , What Lies Beneath ) from Pollitt’s very personal New Yorker essay, it also stars Ben Kingsley (Exodus: Gods and Kings , Self/less ), who takes the role of her Sikh instructor, whose own marriage troubles leads to a bond of friendship with his new pupil.

Any film which features a star turn from the wonderful Clarkson (Vicky Christina Barcelona , Shutter Island ) is an exciting prospect, and that this boasts a screenplay from the excellent Kernochan, who has more than proven she knows how to write strong female characters, makes this even more so. Director Coixet is also a first class filmmaker, with a near thirty-year career including movies like My Life Without Me (2003), a segment of Paris, je t’aime (2006) and Another Me (2013) under her belt, making Learning to Drive more than deserving of a place on your must-watch list.

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panelists Comments:

Nell Minow: Learning to Drive — based on a thoughtful essay by Katha Pollitt about how she had to get her first driver’s license after her long-time boyfriend left her.

Jennifer Merin: An absolutely delightful and searingly smart take on modern life, romantic relationships and friendship. Patricia Clarkson and Sir Ben Kingsley are perfectly truthful and utterly hilarious in this charming film written and directed by women. Learning to Drive is an ideal choice for AWFJ’s Movie of the Week. A must see.

Film Details:
Title: Learning to Drive
Director: Isabel Coixet
Release Date: August 21, 2015
Running Time: 90 mins
Language: English
Shooting Location(s): New York City, USA
Principal Cast: Patricia Clarkson, Ben Kingsley, Grace Gummer, Jake Weber
Screenwriter: Sarah Kernochan
Production Companys: Broad Green Pictures, Lavender Pictures, Core Pictures
Distributor: Broad Green Pictures
Official Site
Trailer

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panel Members: Nikki Baughan, Anne Brodie, Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, MaryAnn Johanson, Loren King, Cate Marquis, Katherine McLaughlin, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Perri Nemiroff, Kristy Puchko, Sheila Roberts, Liz Whittemore, Jeanne Wolf.

Other Movies Opening the Week of August 17-23, 2015

August 18
Catching Faith
Max Steel
Sun Belt Express
You’re Fuck’n Dead!

August 19
Slow Learners
Doomsday

August 20
District C-11
House on Rodeo Gulch
The Hippie and the Hipster

August 21
American Ultra
Hitman: Agent 47
Sinister 2
Lessons in Love
She’s Funny That Way
Digging For Fire
Grandma
Shanghai
The Curse of Downers Grove
The Mend
Mateo
After Words
Guidance
Veteran
Mouthpiece
The Iron Ministry
Youth
In the Pines
Tamales and Gumbo

August 22
Writer’s Block

August 23
Unknown Love

Edited by Sandra Kraisirideja, AWFJ.org Associate Editor

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Nikki Baughan

Nikki Baughan is a London-based freelance film critic and features writer. Formerly editor of both Film Review and movieScope magazines, Nikki is currently contributes to various print and online publications, including Screen International, BFI, The List and Film Divider.