Driveways; Grade: B+
Driveways tells a story about Kathy (Hong Chao) and her son Cody (Lucas Jaye) taking a trip to Kathy’s sister’s house, whom recently passed away. Unfortunately Kathy’s sister lived like a true hoarder, as it’ll take a good minute to clean out her entire house. Cody whom appears to be extremely shy, finds company from their next door neighbor of the house Del (Brian Dennehy). Del is a simple elderly man, whom was veteran long ago. Witness a simple story about grieve, emotional comfort, and friendship.
The Cinematography was solid in this film, wasn’t blown away like other recent films discussed in the past, but was a nice looking film. The Score was solid, very simple and basic as it gets the job done. The cast all in all was pretty solid for the most part. Kathy played by Hong Chao had a pretty good performance, as this lone single mother whom had drifted far apart from her sister. I think more could’ve been done with the character Kathy, as I felt a bit underdeveloped towards her uncertainty in her feelings, about her sister and how the house setting made her feel like she didn’t know her at all. Like they could’ve explore more with certain items in the house, that makes Kathy extremely curious about who her sister was, as it could bring identity in shaping who her sister was as a person. Cody played by Lucas Jaye played a pretty good performance, an accurate portrayal of a young child whom is shy and when not properly acquainted with others, can feel extremely uncomfortable around them. I can relate to Cody as I myself was extremely shy as a young kid, as it would take a lot out of me to get myself comfortable around others. Brian Dennehy playing Del played a pretty good performance, as I felt this was by far was the best character in the entire film. The character felt properly developed than our lead Kathy, we learned about his past as we can understand his feeling of being underwhelmed with his own life moving forward. I adored the friendship of Del and Cody, great chemistry between the actors as well.
I do have one other flaw to add. I found that whole birthday party scene to be extremely questionable. Clearly Cody is uncomfortable in loud settings, so why would you spend a solid amount of money, knowing Cody wouldn’t participate in skating in the first place?! Surely we could’ve had a better setup, as to planning Cody’s birthday party, rather than realizing the roller skate rink was a bad idea from the start. Especially knowing Cody only made a friend with an elderly man, so Del wouldn’t skate either so it looks to be extremely pointless to have a party there. So knowing Kathy is taking a hit financially regarding this trip, I don’t get what’s inside her head in escalating a party not even the birthday boy wanted in the first place.
Driveways got a couple nominations in the 2020 Spirit Awards, including Best First Screenplay and Best Female Lead performance with Hong Chao. I felt Driveways was a simple feel good tale, that was done very well. The story though flawed with our lead character, still was solid for the most part, due to our supporting characters beloved unexpected friendship. The way the friendship is constructed was pretty touching, sweet, as the audience did get hit with some emotional strings. It’s a friendship that can be relatable to anyone’s life really, we’ve all once had a friendship like this, it does hit home. There’s not much else to say, just a simple tale about friendship and life is all, that’s done well.
Overall, Driveways is a pretty good film. I recommend checking this film out. I was purchasing my friend Nicholas Bizov’s books on Amazon the other day. Because I chose the “Not in a Hurry” shipping option, they gave me a $1.50 credit towards streaming films, whether it be purchasing or rentals... People gotta stop hating on Jeff Bezos, sometimes that man comes up with thoughtful ideas for his customers. -Mitch Smietana