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Richard Pimentel (Ron Livingston) entered the world as one of the survivors in a series of miscarriages by his mother (Rebecca De Mornay), a deeply disturbed woman who surrendered her only living child to a Catholic orphanage at birth. From there Pimentel grew up with bizarre circumstances, raised by his Chinese father who dies from a working accident. Desperately needing to belong and to recognized, Pimentel became an expert public speaker, but his efforts to gain admission to college were thwarted by college speech professor Ben Padrow (Hector Elizondo) who admired Pimentel's technical abilities on the stage but says he needs to live life to find his 'music within' before he can succeed in college level oratory. Out of need for employment and guarantee for a college education Pimentel joins the military, is sent to Vietnam, where a blast of incoming explosions disables him with deafness.Read more ›
Richard becomes eloquent in spite of it all. He develops his speech skills enough to win trophies, but not enough to win a scholarship from Portland (WA) University. Dr. Pedro gives him a try out, but his conviction doesn't match his delivery.
His solution is to join the Army where he volunteers and becomes an enlistee for the Vietnam War. One night while celebrating and reverie with his fellow soldiers, a shell pierces the night sky, but they aren't able to evacuate in time. The blast leaves Richard injured, especially with hearing loss. One of the masterstrokes of the movie is how they relate the muffled sounds of speech and the perpetual ringing in the ears he experiences and is expected to live with for the rest of his life.
Coming home, he has disability support, but he needs so much more. He comes across a counselor who gives no support or consolation about job opportunities, but his anger and determination keep him going. Like nearly everyone else, he'd like to relate to others and be a productive and working member of society.
The people he meets from there are essential.Read more ›
For a person who works with people with disabilities, I have experienced first-hand how humor can get you through the tough times. Sometimes you need to just laugh! Laugh at yourself, your situation, the irony, and everything you can't control. This movie embodies that sentiment!
This movie should be required viewing. It brings about a troubling topic in such a stark, wonderful, charming way! Pimentel's CP friend is an incredible supporting character as well. Do yourself a favor- if you want to combine a great chuckle and enlightenment on the former (or not so former) plight of the disabled- check this out!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
one of my favorite movies. very inspirational. learned a lot about the handicap act and how it came into being.Published 1 month ago by Ampycas
Love this movie. Great 60s and 70s music. I homeschool my kids and we just finished the 8th grade Civics lesson on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Desiree Hayes
Excellent..... I had to watch the film for a class and wished I had known the story when I was growing up. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
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