Learning to Drive

Learning to Drive

Isabel Coixet (2014)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Cramming every conceivable driving metaphor into a 90-minute feature that never gets out of second gear, Spanish director Isabel Coixet struggles to find anything new or insightful to say about the human condition in this prosaic reworking of Katha Pollitt's autobiographical New Yorker essay. Reuniting with Coixet after her Philip Roth adaptation, Elegy (2008), Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson do what they can with the deliberate dialogue and blatant characterisation. But neither Clarkson's divorcing Manhattan literary critic nor Kingsley's Sikh driving instructor-cum-cabby rings entirely true. His arranged marriage to the recently immigrated Sarita Choudhury keeps the cross-cultural romantic clichés at bay, but the bid to show how tough the post-9/11 world is for intelligent middle-aged women and religious, dark-skinned men lacks political potency and genuine warmth. Given little to work with, Thelma Schoonmaker edits proficiently and there's a pleasing Indian-inspired score, but the film strains so hard to be equitable that it fails to engage.


A New York book critic and her Sikh driving instructor find themselves helping each other to overcome their respective relationship difficulties. Romantic drama, starring Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley.

Cast & Crew

Wendy Patricia Clarkson
Darwan Ben Kingsley
Ted Jake Weber
Jasleen Sarita Choudhury
Tasha Grace Gummer
Preet Avi Nash
Debbie Samantha Bee
Peter Matt Salinger
Director Isabel Coixet
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: VertigoGuidance: Swearing, sexual references.Available on: DVDReleased on: 10 Jun 2016