PELHAM, NY --The Picture House (TPH) will present an advance screening of the new film Learning to Drive (R- 90 mins.) with a post-film discussion with the film’s director Isabel Coixet. The movie will show in Pelham prior to opening nationwide on Friday, August 21st.
Academy Award nominee Patricia Clarkson and Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley star in this feel-good, coming-of-(middle) age comedy about a mismatched pair who help each other overcome life’s road blocks. Wendy (Clarkson) is a fiery Manhattan author whose husband has just left her for a younger woman; Darwan (Kinglsey) is a soft-spoken taxi driver from India on the verge of an arranged marriage. As Wendy sets out to reclaim her independence, she runs into a barrier common to many lifelong New Yorkers: she’s never learned to drive. When Wendy hires Darwan to teach her, her unraveling life and his calm restraint seem like an awkward fit. But as he shows her how to take control of the wheel and she coaches him on how to impress a woman, their unlikely friendship awakens them to the joy, humor, and love in starting life anew.
After the screening TPH critic-in-residence Marshall Fine will host a discussion and Q&A with the film’s director Isabel Coixet. Born in Barcelona, Spain, Isabel Coixet received an 8mm camera at age 7 and began creating short films. She went on to study history at the University of Barcelona, then worked as a copywriter and began to make experimental shorts on her own time eventually starting her own production company and directing commercials for clients such as Pepsi, Kellogg's, AT&T, Procter & Gamble, Ikea, and BMW.
Her first screenplay, Morbus, was made into a film in 1983, but with her next film, Demasiado viejo para morir joven (1988), she decided to step into the director's shoes and helm it herself. Coixet received a Goya Award nomination as Best New Director, then went on to write and direct her first English language film, Things I Never Told You (1996), starring Andrew McCarthy and Lili Taylor. She received a Goya Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay and won a Silver Alexander at the Thessaloniki Film Festival for the film. Coixet filmed another A los que aman (1998), then wrote and directed the Canadian/Spanish co-production My Life Without Me (2003). Starring Sarah Polley and Scott Speedman, the film won awards from festivals around the world including Best Canadian Feature at the Atlantic Film Festival and the Prize of the Guild Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. She again worked with Polley on The Secret Life of Words (2006), winning Best Director at the ADIRCAE Awards and Best Director and Best Original Screenplay from both the Cinema Writers Circle Awards in Spain and the Goya Awards. She also known for her writing work on the film Paris, je t’aime (2006).