Time: 129 mins.
Academy Award nominations for Best Actress (Sarandon) and Best Original Screenplay.
SYNOPSIS: A boy develops a disease so rare that nobody is working on a cure, so his father decides to learn all about it and tackle the problem himself.
BOTTOM LINE: I guess I'm just a sucker for the medical miracle stories, but this is one you definitely shouldn't miss. Partly because of the performances, but mainly because it's true. Sarandon and Nolte are intense and heartbreaking as the parents of a deathly ill boy who are determined to unlock the secrets of their son's illness before it takes it from them forever. His condition is too rare to even get on the research radar, so their efforts cause much consternation and irritation to everyone in their lives from the nurses to the medical establishment to members of their own family, who tell them the miracle they're yearning for is just not possible. It's hard for them to watch their son suffer, but their undying hope helps counter the pain.
This story illuminates the importance of faith and the power of determination. Nolte gives a staggering performance as the father who teaches himself everything there is to know about his son's disease and the human body for the sole purpose of being able to have more time with his son. The constant sorrow in Sarandon's soulful eyes is enough to bring one to tears...and you will cry. I'm sure this is one of those films the medical establishment just hates. God forbid someone think out of the box when it comes to medicine. Especially in this case where no one really cared about Lorenzo's disease. What keeps this film real and makes it even more touching are the turns by the young boys who portray Lorenzo over the years. What they had to go through to bring this disease to the screen is beyond impressive. I've seen this movie several times and it never fails to lift my spirit, despite the subject matter and Nolte's annoying Italian accent. A real dramatic gem about the joys and sorrows of life.
"Michaela, the doctors are in the dark. They're groping in the dark. The've got Lorenzo on a turvy-topsy diet. And that bloody immunosuppression is brutal and useless. Michaela, we should not have consigned him blindly into their hands. He should not suffer by our ignorance. We take responsibility."