Today's Recommendation? My Second-Favorite Film Based On An Oliver Sacks Case

My favorite (as I've written a number of times in the past) is The Music Never Stopped (from "The Last Hippie, the second story in the renowned neurologist's "An Anthropologist On Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales").

But Awakenings, based on Sack's own memoir, isn't a bad second choice. Not at all.

DeNiro's role as the recovering catatonic garnered much of the publicity (and an eventual Oscar nomination), but it's the unusually restrained and highly effective performance of Robin Williams as Dr. Malcolm Sayer that still sticks most clearly in my memory. Well, that and the emotional "crack-the-whip" of the second half.

Definitely a bitter-sweet film, but one that does a wonderful job of reminding us thatpeople in such catastrophic medical conditions are profoundly human, even when they seem to lack so many of the characteristics that we most associate with humanity.

If you're willing to put up with a few commercials, it's actually streaming for free over on CRACKLE. If you're saving all your commercial tolerance for Sunday, though, the film's also available on AMAZON PRIME INSTANT, YOUTUBE($), and SOME OTHERS($).

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.
Attribution(s): All posters, publicity images, and stills are the property of Columbia/Sony Pictures and other respective production studios and distributors.