(out of 5)

Dr. Oliver Sacks’ autobiographical account of his years dealing with comatose patients makes for absorbing viewing in this touching, intelligent film. Sacks () is presented with a room full of patients who all suffered during an encephalitis epidemic and fell into comas from which they have yet to awaken. Sacks’ research provides the possibility of a medication that will awaken them, though what happens next is impossible to imagine.   is excellent as one patient in particular who is revived to the world around him and decides to live it up as much as he can, just in case it doesn’t last.  Penny Marshall emphasizes personal triumphs and deep characterizations in place of the kind of schmaltz that would become more of a habit in Patch Adams, and it all works extremely well.

Columbia Pictures Corporation, Parkes/Lasker productions

USA, 1990

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on the book by

Cinematography by

Produced by ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by ,

Academy Awards 1990

Golden Globe Awards 1990

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