Awakenings (1990)

The victims of an encephalitis epidemic many years ago have been catatonic ever since, but now a new drug offers the prospect of reviving them. (IMDb)

A fascinating and moving true story featuring stellar performances from the two leads: Williams’ shy but determined doctor attempts to “awaken” comatose patients with a new drug, and the aftermath is a tear-jerking mix of heart warming joy and wrenching sadness, seen most notably in DeNiro’s endearing Leonard. The parallel “awakening” of the doctor is meaningful without being heavy-handed, thanks to a graceful script. A delicate soundtrack and thoughtful cinematography top off this lovely film.

7.8/10

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