Jonathan Demme (1993)

12 Certificate
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Our Score
This affecting drama was the first major Hollywood movie about Aids, and it won Tom Hanks his (deserved) first best actor Oscar. Hanks plays gay lawyer Andrew Beckett, who takes his powerful employers to court for sacking him after they discover he is suffering from an Aids-related illness. The company bigwigs (including Jason Robards in a reptilian portrayal of intolerance thinly masked by bluff camaraderie) claim he was dismissed for incompetence. Beckett's counsel is wheeler-dealer Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), whose homophobia is counter-balanced by his nose for a good case and essential sense of fair play. Hanks portrays the ravaged, dying Beckett as a disabled everyman whose life has lessons for all of us, but does not disconnect the character from his cause. His crescendo of praise for an opera aria is a tour de force of close-up acting and a stunning scene of life-affirming passion.


A gay lawyer is fired after contracting Aids, and takes his former employers to court to prove he was discriminated against because of his condition. The only attorney he can find to represent him is a homophobic courtroom rival, who is forced to confront his prejudices as the case unfolds and his client's health deteriorates. Drama, starring an Oscar-winning Tom Hanks, with Denzel Washington and Antonio Banderas.

Cast & Crew

Andrew Beckett Tom Hanks
Joe Miller Denzel Washington
Charles Wheeler Jason Robards
Belinda Conine Mary Steenburgen
Miguel Alvarez Antonio Banderas
Bob Seidman Ron Vawter
Walter Kenton Robert Ridgely
Judge Garnett Charles Napier
Lisa Miller Lisa Summerour
Sarah Beckett Joanne Woodward
Dr Gillman Karen Finley
Tyrone Jeffrey Williamson
Kenneth Killcoyne Charles Glenn
Director Jonathan Demme
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Columbia Tri-Star Films (UK)Guidance: Some swearing. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray