Starring: Rupert Grint, Julie Walters, Laura Linney, Nicholas Farrell, Oliver Milburn, Tamsin Egerton, Michelle Duncan, and Jim Norton
Release Date(s): USA – October 13th, 2006. UK – September 8th, 2006. Brazil – Early 2007. South and Central America – Early 2007. Thailand – Late 2006.
Contries Released In: US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, Thailand, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Central America.
Festivals: Dublin International, Tribeca, The Cannes, Moscow International Film Festival (DL won four awards there: Best Film in Competition (Jury, Russian Guild of Film Critics); Audience Award, Best Film in Main Competition (exit poll vote); Special Prize, Golden St. George Film (Grand Jury); Best Actress, Silver St. George for Ms. Julie Walters), Jerusalem Film Festival, Galway, Edinburg Film Festival, and Seaward Chichester Film Festival.
Synopsis: The Graduate meets Harold And Maude in this rites of passage comedy with yet another dreary school holiday coming around for the shy and downtrodden Ben (RUPERT GRINT).
Seventeen years of living in an absurdly conservative and traditional household with his highly-strung and overbearing mother and quiet, mild mannered vicar father have taken its toll on young Ben.
Driving Lessons tells the story of Ben (Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint), a terribly shy seventeen year old, who lives with his hypocritical Jesus-freak mother (an effectively bitchy Laura Linney) and too-quiet vicar father (Nicholas Farrell). Ben goes to work for once-celebrated actress Evie (Julie Walters) and slowly begins to bond with this passionate, whirlwind of a woman.
Ben’s initial apathy shocks Evie: “For a boy of seventeen you have a lamentable lack of curiosity!” But Ben soon finds himself entranced by her and the two embark on an oddball friendship that leads to both finding out certain important personal truths about themselves.
Learning to drive is the metaphor used to illustrate Ben’s journey. From a passive youngster bullied into playing a Eucalypt tree in his mother’s church play to the mature young man sprouting poetry by starlight and taking his destiny into his own hands, his unexpected driving lessons advances him great distances – literally and figuratively.
Ben: Remember I’m a poet too Evie, I understand the power of words.
Ben: God. Is. love.
Sarah: You’re very angry, aren’t you? Don’t be. You’re still God’s gift. Every day God gives us is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.
Ben: Fuck off, Sarah.
|Director Jeremy Brock chose Rupert Grint for the leading role was because he felt that he had been underused in the third and fourth installments of the Harry Potter franchise.|
|Screenwriter Jeremy Brock was reportedly inspired by his own teenage experiences working for Dame Peggy Ashcroft.|
|When filming, Rupert Grint was only 16 which meant it was illegal for him to drive (the legal age in the UK is 17), so they had to film his driving scenes in private roads.|
|Continuity: When Evie and Ben are looking at the lake it is flat calm. When the camera looks at them the lake behind has waves.|
|Factual errors: The bird that they look up at isn’t a Skylark but a Swallow.|
|Continuity: During the initial Edinburgh scenes, the background changes from raining to cloudy to almost clear, to rainy, all basically within the same shot.|