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Also known as ‘Hero’, this film from 1992 did not do very well at the box office, despite the cast being headed up by Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis and Andy Garcia.  Still, it’s a lovely movie and if you get a chance to see it, I would definitely suggest that you do so.

Dustin Hoffman is Bernie LaPlante, a small-time crook, who saves the passengers of plane which has crashed.  However, when a monetary reward is offered for the ‘Angel of Flight 104’, homeless drifter Andy Garcia steps up to take the credit…

This is a thoroughly enjoyable film from start to finish.  It’s funny, yet very touching in places.  Dustin Hoffman once again proves his immeasurable talent as LaPlante, a character who in the hands of a lesser actor, could be completely unlikeable.  Hoffman however, manages to make the audience like LaPlante, despite his selfishness and despite his criminal tendencies.  Andy Garcia also shines as John Bubber, who it’s impossible not to feel warmth towards, even when he is taking credit that he knows he does not deserve.  Geena Davis rounds out the main cast, as a newsreader who is searching for story with meaning, that doesn’t revolve around gossip, and when she survives Flight 104, she thinks she might have found that story.

All in all then, this is a great comedy drama, with a real message at the heart of it’s story.  Thoroughly enjoyable.

Year of release: 1992

Director: Stephen Frears

Producers: Joseph M. Caracciolo, Laura Ziskin, Sandy Isaac

Writers: Laura Ziskin, Alvin Sargent, David Webb Peoples

Main cast: Dustin Hoffman, Andy Garcia, Geena Davis, Chevy Chase, Joan Cusack

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Quite simply, this film is amazing.  Jeff Bridges (my all time favourite actor) is Max Klein, a man whose worst fear becomes realised when he is in a plane crash. However, Max not only survives the crash, but also leads other survivors to safety.

Surviving the crash causes Max to feel invincible, and he believes that nothing can kill him.  This causes tension in his marriage, and between Max and his son, who are unable to understand Max’s new attitude.  The only person who Max is able to connect with is a fellow survivor from the flight, Carla, a woman whose blames herself for her baby dying in the crash.

I feel that Jeff Bridges should, at the very least, have been nominated for an Oscar for this movie – his performance is simply outstanding,  Rosie Perez, who played Carla, was in fact nominated.  Also marvellous were Tom Hulce as the mercenary lawyer representing Max and his late business partner, and Isabella Rossellini, who played Max’s wife, struggling to come to terms with the change in her husband.

I found myself totally immersed in the story and lives of these characters; the film is totally compelling.  The story itself was beautifully told, showing how extraordinary events can have an effect on people far beyond anything they could have imagined.  The isolation felt by the two main characters was almost palpable.

Some people apparently believe that Max actually represents Jesus in this film.  I mention this because it’s an interesting point of view; however, I don’t actually agree with it.  But the movie is open to interpretation, and I love movies that make you think – this is definitely one of them.

The ending of the movie is particularly outstanding, but to single out one scene is perhaps unfair (there are many wonderful and moving scenes in this film; another that comes to mind is the scene where Max deliberately crashes his car to prove to Carla that she could not have saved her child, and therefore was not to blame for the child’s death).  This is simply a terrific film throughout.  Highly recommended.

Year of release: 1993

Director: Peter Weir

Writers: Rafael Yglesias

Main cast: Jeff Bridges, Isabella Rossellini, Rosie Perez, Tom Hulce

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