We wish you a very peaceful, healthy holiday season. Among the other things we have to celebrate at this time of year, this week marks the 30th anniversary of the 1990 film Awakenings, directed by Penny Marshall, and starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams. The film was the beginning of a lifelong friendship between Oliver Sacks and Robin Williams – the photo below shows them playing Santa for a fundraiser in the early 1990s.
Awakenings was nominated for three Academy Awards, and watching it again this week, we were reminded of how beautiful the sets and cinematography are, and how very movingly the Awakenings patients’ stories are told. And if you watch closely, you will spot many other extraordinary actors, including John Heard, Ann Meara, Judith Malina, Julie Kavner, Bradley Whitford, and the great Dexter Gordon.
As a special anniversary celebration, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is making Awakenings available online along with Ric Burns’ documentary Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, courtesy of Zeitgeist/Kino Lorber. Both films will be available to watch online for free from December 26 through 29th. Viewings will be limited to the first 500 people to register here.
At 1 pm EST on Monday December 28th, you can tune in to Tribeca Talks via this link to see a discussion of both films featuring Robert De Niro, renowned producer Walter Parkes, director Ric Burns, and Kate Edgar of the Oliver Sacks Foundation. We will reminisce about the making of both films, about Robin Williams, Oliver Sacks, and much more. Grab your popcorn!
The Sacks Team
AWAKENINGS is also available for rental on a number of streaming services, including Hulu, Amazon Prime, Starz, and Vudu.