Movie Reviews: Philadelphia
   
 



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Studio:
    
Plot:
     A young promising lawyer is fired by his employers when they discovers he is HIV positive.
Cast:
     Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Mary Steenburgen
Rating:
     R
Bottom Line:
     ***

Coverage:

     Hollywood took a chance on making a major motion picture dealing with the taboo topics of gays and AIDS -- and it paid off. Why? Because the producers took two Oscar quality stars and presented a contemporary story from today's headlines -- unlawful termination.
     Washington gives a terrific performance as a slick lawyer who is challenged to grow out of his own homophobia, and demand justice for his client, AIDS victim Tom Hanks. The film doesn't hide the horrors of AIDS either, as we see Hanks turn from a healthy young man to an emaciated stick man. The audience sees the sores, lesions and discoloration caused by the disease.
     One note, I noticed Philadelphia's  advertising campaign totally avoided the topic of AIDS. They lead you to believe the film is just a simple courtroom drama -- it's not. I guess they believed they were protecting their box office draw. There really is plenty of courtroom drama, though, and I'll admit, I'm a push over for courtroom stuff.
     At the risk of sounding cliche, Philadelphia  will make you laugh and cry -- a good cry.

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