Driveways (2020) – Film Review

A Wonderful Slice Of Life Drama

Driveways is a wonderful Indie film. It’s one of those pictures that doesn’t do that much different to other slice of life dramas but what it does, it does incredibly well. It’s a film that’ll almost certainly move you when the final credits roll and have you thinking about the different themes for a while after you’ve turned it off. With some deeply moving ideas, a trio of well-cast characters and a third act that hits hard like a hammer blow, Driveways is easily one of the best films of the year.

The story itself revolves around Kathy and her son Cody. When Kathy’s sister dies, they head up to her house to clean things out but when they get there, realize that’s easier said than done. With a big job ahead of them, Cody forms an unlikely bond with the elderly man next door, Del. What follows is a story that sees Del and Cody feeding off one another’s energy – with Del wanting to feel young again and Cody feeling older than his years.

Back-dropped against this tale of friendship is Kathy who spends almost the entirety of the film cleaning out her sister’s house, troubled by the memories of her sister over the years. With every box she throws away and every room she cleans out, it acts as a spiritual cleansing; clearing away the baggage and clutter to reveal a free spirit in peace.

With no action, big plot twists or tension of any kind, Driveways instead relies heavily on the performances of the three actors to pull off the simple script and they absolutely nail the roles from start to finish. These two character-driven stories work incredibly well next to each other, with Del and Cody’s story more about finding purpose and meaning in life while Kathy’s is about dealing with her grief.

The film goes deeper than that though and it’s here where Driveways really shines as a multifaceted slice of life. There’s elements of racial conflict and archaic ideas in the form of noisy neighbour Linda and her grandsons while the breaking down of the generational gap, with Cody’s birthday party a prime example, working really well to effectively show that this fictional generational gap the media have made up is just that – fictional. 

Stylistically, the film uses a lot of simple camera angles and shots, ultimately playing back on the performances of our trio as the dominating factor of the film. It’s a simple but effective way of filming and it’s certainly the right choice for this picture.

Overall though, Driveways is a very simple but very effective slice of life drama. It’s a film that speaks volumes about our journey in life and how age has no boundaries.  It’s as much a commentary on how to deal with grief as it is about finding purpose and one’s voice in a noisy world, which plays back again on our three characters who embody these ideas. Driveways is quite simply a really, really good film and easily one of the must-watch pictures of 2020.

 


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