Philadelphia (1993) – Originally written January 2004
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It’s hard to say what I think of “Philadelphia”. I say to a lot of people that the better a film is, the less there is to say about it. The problem, as this film shows, is that simply that phrase doesn’t work. Whilst it’s true that for most films, having little to say shows that it’s been well made and there is nothing to complain about. With “Philadelphia”, it’s not accurate as all I want to do is sing the praises of Tom Hanks and Denzil Washington.
In this film, Hanks plays Andrew Beckett, an outstanding lawyer fired after the discovery that he is contaminated with the aids virus. Beckett seeks out Washington’s Joe Miller as a lawyer as he progresses to sue the company for wrongful dismissal.
First things first, lets be honest, Jonathan Demme took a huge chance directing a film about such a difficult matter, but fair play to him, he pulled it off. This film is a powerful, moving, eye-opening experience which will leave even the most unemotional person with a tear in their eye at one point or another.
Hanks, Best Actor at the Oscars for this film, is truely magnificant and worthy of his award. Washington too is superb as the homophobic lawyer being taught a thing or two about his beliefs.
Ultimately, I find very little wrong to say about this film. The last five minutes seem almost rushed, and it would have been nice to have seen the Company suffer a bit more, but ultimately, this film is worth it’s weight in gold and worthy of all the awards it picked up in it’s time. If you haven’t seen this film before, and I know for a guy who’s just watched it eleven years after it was first released this is hypocracy, but go out and rent it. “Philadelphia” is a gem.