Thursday, December 30, 2004

Awakenings - 1990

I saw this movie in the year after it came out. I remembered it as good but not great. And that's about what I still think: pretty good, but not great.
It stars Robin Williams in a completely noncomedic role. You can easily see the seeds for his later role in 'Good Will Hunting', but this is a much more introverted doctor. He plays a researcher who ends up working with actual patients. This leads him to Robert De Niro who plays a very convincing patient. The movie is very 'Flowers for Algernon'. The idea of suffering some sort of loss of brain power scares the hell out of me and that part was very effective. But the movie as a whole doesn't have that 'wow' feeling.
A couple of interesting items: Robin Williams doctor shrugs off the scientific method because he feels that the patients must be aware on some level. Robert De Niro assures a lovely lady that her catatonic father is also aware. But none of the patients have any feel of the passing of time. I haven't read the book that the movie is based on so I don't know if this is explored at all. Also, the score to this movie is very nice. Lush and powerful.

Oscar comparison (or what I did during 2005)

I've long had an itch to scratch and now I'm doing it. I've long wanted to go back to previous year's Best Picture nominees, watch them in a tight amount of time and compare them. In fact, I've wanted to take an entire decade of nominees so I could review and compare. Well, I'm not getting any younger, so I'll have a go this year. Before 2005 is over I'm going to watch all 50 of the Best Picture noms from the 90's. About once a week should do it.
I've seen 39 of these movies previously. I even own 15 of them. I have no training in watching movies. I'm strictly an amateur at this kind of thing. And I guess I'm only doing it for myself anyway, so there!