Awakenings Film Analysis

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NUGUID, Jeremiah L MLS 1-1
Ms. Peggy Anne Orbe
Motion Picture Critique of “Awakenings”
Written by: Oliver Sacks, M.D. (original memoir) Steven Zallian (Screenplay)
Directed by: Penny Marshall
The 1990 film production Awakenings was based on the non-fiction book by Oliver Sacks, M.D. which was published in 1973. The motion picture was directed by Penny Marshall with the screenplay written by Steven Zallian. Robert De Niro and the late Robin Williams starred as the main characters of the story. The film was budgeted at thirty-one million dollars and earned an estimated fifty-two million dollars.
Awakenings is set in the Bronx, New York in 1969. Majority of the events occur in Bainbridge Hospital, a mental institution where Dr. Malcolm Sayer (Robin Williams) seeks a position as a researcher, but is instead hired as a doctor to interact directly with the patients. During his stay in Bainbridge, he comes across multiple patients who are classified as being catatonic or unresponsive since the 1920s. he sets his eyes on a particular patient, Leonard Lowe (Robert De Niro), and gets to know his story through his mother, Mrs. Lowe (Ruth Nelson). He discovers that Leonard showed signs of Parkinson’s disease before going completely catatonic, and has remained so for about thirty years. He promises to Mrs. Lowe that he will do what he can to improve Leonard’s condition. After attending a seminar on a drug called L-Dopa and its successful results with patients with Parkinson’s disease,
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