For the past years, Kathy hasn’t spoken with her older sister, Alice, due to small conflicts that happen in life and with miscommunication, end up taking up a lot of space. So, when she receives the sudden news of her sister’s death, Kathy travels to the small town where Alice lived to take care of her belongings and sell her house. Moreover, she is saddened to realize that she had no idea about her sister’s way of living. Her son Cody, eight-years old, but wise beyond his years, also seems sad and burdened by loneliness and misunderstanding the other children around him. Alice’s neighbor, Del, leads a monotonous life. He’s an old war veteran who looks at life from his porch and sticks to his daily routine, meeting with his veteran friends who have little years left to live. Despite some initial reluctance to interact, these lonely beings are destined to run into each other, talk, understand each other, and cope with loneliness and pain.
With a premise that is akin to other American classics —an old neighbor, tired of life who befriends a young boy that ends up bringing hope in his life— Driveways might not appear that innovative, but it plays its cards perfectly to move its audience. The story is low-key, modest, and little is explained about the protagonists’ past, only small details to hold on to, but its subtlety, its precise plot, and its beautifully melancholic music make it a substantial drama. A superb film, ultimately full of life, where issues such as loneliness, the absurd grudges that we accumulate during life, lost opportunities and the inexorable passage of time are treated in a tactful way. An exceptional feature that was nominated for Best First Screenplay and Best Female Lead at the latest Independent Spirit Awards.