William Hurt is James, a sympathetic and talented speech therapist in a school for the deaf. Newcomer Marlee Matlin is Sarah, a deaf janitor and former pupil – barricaded emotionally against the silent world that has hurt her. She refuses his help but becomes his lover.
Matlin, who is hearing impaired in real life, makes the sentimental, conventional story glow with life and energy.
Her pride, egotism, and angry humour give Hurt something real to play against. The result is an emotional tug-of-war that is mesmerising.
She became the youngest Best Actress winner and the first deaf Oscar winner in history.
The film is basically a two-character play in which only one character does all the talking, but its sensitivity and heart are undeniable.
Dr Curtis Franklin
John F. Cleary
Georgia Ann Cline
William D. Byrd
Frank Carter Jr.
Mary Lee Ochs
E. Katherine Kerr