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Film Reviews Learning to Drive: Patricia Clarkson, Ben Kingsley dazzle in soulful comedy

Ben Kingsley stars as a gentle Sikh driving instructor and Patricia Clarkson as a highly competent book editor just dumped and left directionless by her long-time husband in Learning to Drive.

Linda Kallerus

3 out of 4 stars

Written by
Sarah Kernochan
Directed by
Isabel Coixet
Starring
Patricia Clarkson, Ben Kingsley
Country
USA
Language
English

"We're moving. That's good."

In Isabel Coixet's soulful, fluently told, low-key comedy, Ben Kingsley plays a calm Sikh driving instructor, patiently teaching a middle-aged woman how to operate an automobile.

Played by the amazingly sure-footed Patricia Clarkson, the protagonist is a highly competent book editor just dumped and left directionless by her long-time husband.

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It's time for her to take the wheel, give 'er some gas and get her life (and this metaphor!) in gear.

Coixet, Clarkson and Kingsley have worked together previously (in the 2008 drama Elegy), but this is the Spanish filmmaker's first crack at comedy. She passes the test, seemingly with ease.

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