PARENTHOOD
1989, Universal, 124 min, USA, Dir: Ron Howard

Raising children has never seemed so hilarious, frustrating and true to life as in this delightful dramedy from director Ron Howard. Featuring an Oscar-winning original song from Randy Newman, the film follows overwhelmed parents-of-three Gil (Steve Martin) and Karen Buckman (Mary Steenburgen) as they learn to juggle work, friends and their extended family of four generations. The stellar ensemble includes Joaquin Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, Tom Hulce, Rick Moranis, Martha Plimpton, Jason Robards and Dianne Wiest, who took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.


THE NATURAL
1984, Sony Repertory, 134 min, USA, Dir: Barry Levinson

Based on the 1952 novel by Bernard Malamud. Barry Levinson (RAIN MAN, BUGSY) directs Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, an over-the-hill rookie who appears out of nowhere to lead a losing 1930s baseball team, the New York Knights, to the top. A tragic turn had destroyed Hobbs' early playing career, and now he is going to live what should have been. The all-star cast features Glenn Close (nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award), Kim Basinger, Robert Duvall and Barbara Hershey. The great music score, one of the most recognized in film history, is by Randy Newman. Life often imitates art, as the Oscar-nominated score is now recognized as the soundtrack behind the legendary Kirk Gibson home run for the L.A. Dodgers in the 1988 World Series. Redford’s bat, "Wonderboy," rivals CITIZEN KANE’s sleigh, "Rosebud," as one of Hollywood’s best-known props. Beautifully shot by cinematographer Caleb Deschanel.


AWAKENINGS
1990, Sony Repertory, 121 min, USA, Dir: Penny Marshall

Based on a memoir by neurologist Oliver Sacks, this life-affirming drama stars Robin Williams as a doctor working with catatonic patients at a Bronx hospital. Using “miracle drug” L-Dopa, he brings one of them (Robert De Niro) back to consciousness, but as the man struggles to reenter life after decades of dormancy, the limitations of the new treatment become clear. Featuring music by Randy Newman.


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