Some favorites from Amazon

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Awakenings with Robin Williams and Robert De Niro

Rating: 6 arthritic fingers up

For those of you who have seen Awakenings, you might wonder why only 6 arthritic fingers up. I chose this rating as, in my own opinion, this movie is easily a 10 but, when viewing with a senior citizen, it's probably quite sad in the end.

Awakenings is based on a true story of British neurologist, Oliver Sacks, and his quest to bring back to life a group of people suffering the effects of an epidemic of encephalitis lethargica between 1917 and 1928. The disease left these people in a catatonic state with little ability to interact with others or their environment.

Robin Williams (playing Malcolm Sayer) is superb in his portrayal of Oliver Sacks. He breaks away from his rapid fire personality and plays this shy researcher with grace and great skill. But, the winning performance of the movie Awakenings, and perhaps of his career, goes to Robert De Niro who plays Leonard Lowe, a now 40 something man who has been in a catatonic state since he was a very young boy. Robert De Niro masters the mannerisms of one both awakening and then descending back into a deep sleep with such skill it's just amazing.

As heartwarming as it is heartbreaking, Awakenings should be on everyone's bookshelf. Just view it carefully before sharing it with you favorite senior citizen.

If you liked Awakenings, you might also like: