James is a new speech teacher at a school for the deaf. He falls for Sarah, a pupil who decided to stay on at the school rather than venture into the big bad world. She shuns him at first, refusing to read his lips and only using signs. Will her feelings change over time?Written by
Colin Tinto <email@example.com>
For her Best Actress Oscar acceptance speech, actress Marlee Matlin thanked the film's cast and crew, "particularly William Hurt for his great support and love", with the aid and assistance of an interpreter. See more »
The DVD back lists a main character as "John" Leeds, when the name should be "JAMES" Leeds. See more »
There are certain minorities that are not often represented in films, and the deaf is one of these groups. It is fascinating to watch this film, as it provides an insight into working with the deaf, and trying to make it so they can cope in a world full of noises. William Hurt gives off a very naturalistic performance, managing to add eccentricity to his role without overdoing it, and his acting also includes having to sign naturally. Even though it seems like an audience pleaser to have him translate out loud everything that Marlee Matlin is saying, it is still a credible performance. Matlin is also very good, deaf in real life, and she won an Oscar for her role. The film is let down however by the choice of a generic plot structure. The impending character relationships and storyline are very predictable, although the screenplay has some interesting ideas to keep it afloat. A lot of the film is concerned with being able to accept a person for who he or she is, and whether one should adjust one's ways or having others adjust for them. It is a good film, and has careful sound mixing work too. Matlin's constant anger is perhaps not realistic, and it is very easy to see where the film is going, but these points do not stop it from being effective viewing and good film-making in general.
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