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Philadelphia (1993)

Philadelphia (1993)




Tom Hanks

Denzel Washington


Directed by Jonathan Demme


I can only recall seeing this movie when I was much younger in the 90s when I too was guilty of the discrimination shown in this film. In fact, much of my adult years still had my heart damped with the discrimination of people who have chosen a different way of life than I did. There is one thing I am grateful of is the path towards enlightenment that I am on thanks to friends I have made along the way towards being a more matured adult. I don't think anyone can fully be enlightened on the life others have chosen or the struggles they have faced. It was movies like this that set me on the path towards enlightenment.

Philadelphia is a ground breaking movie, whose plot is timely and powerful. It deals with the discrimination people faced because of having HIV/AIDS and or being homosexuality. This law drama has the lead wrongfully terminated because of these two factors. If you were not born in the 80s (like me) or the 90s you will not understand the powerful homophobia that existed back then. The movie’s downside is the poor legal battle shown on screen.

The movie stars Tom Hanks as Andrew Beckett a lawyer at a reputable law firm. He was the best lawyer they got and the moment they suspected he had AIDS and was homosexual they terminated him. Andy suspected that he was terminated because of his illness so he hired Joe Miller (Denzel Washington) to defend him. Miller at first refused to take the case because of Andy’s predicament as he too was prejudice, but changed his mind when he witnessed the prejudice first hand.

The case went to court and Miller had the difficult task of convincing the jury that Andy was wrongfully terminated because the firm pulled a nice trick on Andy before they fired him. What they did was, Andy was handling a major case then on the day when they are to submit a deposition the files go missing, files Andy has prepared. Then by some miracle the files appeared just in time, but the matter was used as the reason to fire Andy.

Philadelphia was one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to deal with this discrimination head on.

Hanks won the Academy Award for Best Actor at the Academy Awards for this movie. Then the song "Streets of Philadelphia" by Bruce Springsteen won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

The movie was a critical and commercial success. Hanks and Springsteen also won the Golden Globe for Best Actor and Best Original Song for this movie and even though time has changed, this movie is still a classic. The two leads gave some groundbreaking performances and solidified their places as great actors with this amazing movie.


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