Monday, October 27, 2014

Awakenings 1990


     This film is based on a 1972 book by Oliver Sacks.  Sacks is a British-born New York neurologist and the film is based on his practice and his patients.  There is a new doctor in a Bronx hospital with catatonic patients.  Even though he is a doctor, he doesn’t do very well relating to people and he tries very hard with these patients.  He feels a bond with them because they have no relationships with people.  He begins to learn they can catch a ball if it’s thrown at them.  Certain music will reach them but it is different music for each patient.  They can walk if another person walks beside them.  He feels they take their cue from the ball, they feel the music and they take will from the person walking with them.  He begins experiments with L-dopa medication in 1969.  The patients come alive like they were before they were stricken with their illness.
     This is good and interesting, I’ve seen this before but I didn’t remember until I started watching.  It’s nice to see Robin Williams in such a good role for him.  It’s so sad he wasn’t able to overcome his problems too.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

121 min, Bio directed by Penny Marshall with Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Julie Kavner, Ruth Nelson, John Heard, Penelope Ann Miller, Alice Drummond, Judith Malina, Barton Heyman, George Martin.

Note:  Imdb 7.7 of 10, 88% critic 89% critic on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 4*.

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