When you look into the mirror, do you like what you see?
May 2, 2004
Pros: a fantastic performance by all
Cons: the devastation of human life
The Bottom Line: ________
Philadelphia is the heart wrenching story of a successful attorney (Tom Hanks) that is gay, contracts AIDS and is fired from his position at a well known and respected law firm and centers on the basis and bias of people viewing the gay life style and the AIDS virus. Mr. Hanks gave a stellar view of the devastation that is your life when faced with this killer.
The attorney he hires (Denzel Washington), after many attempts throughout the city to obtain representation, is probably the first black WASP I have encountered. He and Hanks had previously been opponents in a low profile case - Washington being the shopping center strip mall attorney, Hanks the power mogel firm - so there was a little interaction from the start. Washington agrees to take this case against Hanks' prior law partners although he hates everything Hanks stands for. The friendship and respect that result from this match really is the basis for the entire story.
I consider this possibly one of Washington's finest roles to date and definitely Hanks best performance. His transformation as a healthy, vibrant man from the beginning of the movie to the wasted suffering shell at the end is to be applauded.
The interaction between Hanks and his lover (Antonio Banderas), watching their realization that their life and love are ending, the interaction between Hanks and his entire family, their love, devotion, support of him, his cause, his disease - all fine studies of the human makeup.
I think the true turning point in the movie, the case and their friendship is the 'wake' Hanks and Banderas threw, inviting all their friends as a goodbye to Hanks. After the party ended, Washington stayed on to go over Hanks testimony for the following day but Hanks was through with the case, through with the B.S., ready to move on.
Hanks is playing an opera with his favorite aria and begins to explain it to Washington. He goes into the aria so deeply and involves Washington so well, a confused and befuddled Washington rushes from the room and home to his wife and child. I think this is the point that Washington realizes that homosexuals are not queers (to coin a phrase) and from this stage on starts fighting for Hanks as a man.
The entire cast in this movie was fantastic, the music was great. The story had to be told but unfortunately we still ignore the facts we were shown in this portrayal.
I admire Mr. Hanks for presenting this movie and his dedication to his characters is never more evident than in this one.
There is often more to victory than what is portrayed in monetary value.
All of the praise which this film has received and continues to receive is well-deserved. After seeing it again recently, however, I now think that the film's social issues have become, in the minds of many people, more important than its artistic issues whereas I see them as being of equal and inseparable importance. With all due respect to all the male AIDS victims when this film was cast, none of them could have achieved what Tom Hanks did in the role of Andrew Beckett. I presume to suggest, … more
This movie is indeed very touching. It really brings the AIDS crisis to life and raises many questions. Hopefully one day we will have some more answers. Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington are superb in their roles. It is very interesting to watch as Washington becomes more accepting of the lifestyle of homosexuals and the advent of the crisis of AIDS. What is also a nice in this film is the support Andrew Beckett(Tom Hanks) feels from his family regarding his discrimination battle. There needs to … more