Summary: Awakenings is a touching, true story in the life of Dr Oliver Sacks. A good movie to help us understand the limitations of cutting edge medical treatments. In 1969, Dr Sacks tried a drug called L Dopa on patients suffering from catatonia, a state of stupor whereby a patient is frozen in time performing some action; the patient is alive but asleep. Some of his patients woke up after 25 years. Their joy is captured quite well in the movie. The movie is based on the book Awakenings (464 pages, 1999) by Dr Sacks.
Nominated for three Oscars, didn't win any. Great performances by Robert DeNiro (the patient) and Robin Williams (the doctor). A good review by Roger Ebert: here An article that explains that the movie is remarkably close to the actual story: here.