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9 May 2023


Oscar: Best Actor for Tom Hanks and Best Original Song

1993 - 30 years ago - At a time when the world beginning to understand the impact of AIDS and there were many rumours at the time about how AIDS was transmitted. Filmed and set in, of course, Philadelphia it tells the story of gay man Andrew Beckett (Hanks) who asks lawyer Joe Miller (Washington) to help him sue his employers, who fired him after discovering he has AIDS. Philadelphia is notable for being one of the first mainstream Hollywood films not only to explicitly address HIV and homophobia, but also to portray gay people in a positive light.

Several scenes depicting a more intimate relationship between Andrew and Miguel were chopped out by the studio. They also attempted to block the casting of the then HIV-positive Ron Vawter, until Director Jonathan Demme pointed out how hypocritical this would be in the face of the film's message. The producers of the film actively recruited extras to be played by gay men who were already HIV+.

Tom Hanks was asked to loose up to 2 stone in order to make him look the part. Denzel Washington on the other hand was asked to put on weight. Denzel was happy to do this and was often seen eating chocolate bars in front of Tom Hanks.

Ian provided two California cab-sav wines to accompany the film. There were freshly prepared bagels with Salmon and Philadelphia cheese. There were also some strange flavoured crisps - I think they had dill in them?

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