1969. Dr. Malcolm Sayer is hired as a clinical physician at a psychiatric hospital in the Bronx, despite he only having a research background. The job is not ideal on his side as he has difficulties relating to people which is the reason he has focused on research projects not involving human subjects, while the hospital hires him somewhat out of desperation in not finding anyone else with the qualifications who wants the job. Most of his patients are in a semi-catatonic state and are housed in what some of the orderlies coin the "garden" ward, where all they can do for the patients is water and feed them. He notices that some of the patients, despite their generally catatonic state, respond in unusual ways to certain stimuli. In doing some research, he also finds that some common bonds between these patients are that they suffered from encephalitis in the 1920s or 1930s, and that their physical states are like they have Parkinson's disease frozen in time. As such, he is able to ...Written by
For the movie, Robert De Niro filmed a scene with "Lillian T.", the only surviving patient from Oliver Sacks' book, "Awakenings". She was also said to have been the most outspoken patient in the 1974 Yorkshire Television (UK) documentary about the patients, also called "Awakenings". See more »
Eleanor's scarf changes position a number of times while talking to Dr. Sayer outside, from hanging down the front of her body in the front shot, to being over her shoulder in the back shot. See more »
Can someone please tell me WHY Penny Marshall never received an Academy Award nomination for this? This is an excellent movie. A truly great film. My opinion? DeNiro's best role to date. He was superb. While I loved "Schindler's List," I think DeNiro's role by far out muscled Liam Neeson as an Oscar contender. (No disrespect to Neeson intended.) But I'm still disappointed over that one.
Robin Williams was wonderful, as well. As was Julie Kavner. Can't believe we never saw much of her after this role. She's a definite talent. Excellent casting by Marshall.
For anyone out there who hasn't seen it, RUSH to your video store TODAY! It's truly one of those "Don't Miss" films. It will definitely give you some life perspective.
As for Ms. Marshall - I believe one of these days, we are going to be seeing an Oscar with her name on it. "Best Director!" She gives all women in film something to strive for.
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