Philadelphia ★★★★

I wondered if the messages on AIDS and homophobia and discrimination would hold up. They do. I'm not sure that Washington's character is given enough time to achieve the redemptive arc the movie ultimately gives him, though it doesn't try to drive any points home in that regard either.

The movie's power, however, is derived from Hanks' performance. This in addition to Demme's camera, which is as sharp as ever. Individual scenes are just so powerful and it is all credit to Demme's direction. I forgot just how much his close-ups draw your emotions towards characters right up to the surface. I can't tell you how much he made me feel (the range of emotions) for Robards, Ridgely, and Steenburgen, as the law firm's vicious attorney. The middle of the film rushes us to the courtroom drama, which jarred me a bit this time around. But its just such a moving work...and those bookends...

Demme got The Boss and Neil Young to cook up sad ass bangers for those bookends of the film. Indeed those bookends are what make the movie work, nicely connecting the place of the title to its soulful personal story of a life.

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