Only for Curious: Movie Lawyers

Only for Curious: Movie Lawyers
Fecha de publicación: 
13 February 2023
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Every February 3rd, the world celebrates International Lawyer Day.

We have decided to join in talking about cinema, because you can’t deny that the image of courts, judges, and lawyers that most of us have was taken, precisely, from movies. And no wonder, since there are many films that, through the years, have come close to the exercise of law.

In 1957 was premiered Witness for the prosecution, the adaptation of a novel by Agatha Christie. A remarkable judicial drama, ingenious, and with an excellent cast. In this film, the viewer accompanies the criminal lawyer in his determination to prove the innocence of his client. From this side of the screen, we become judges and also witnesses of the facts that are shown to us.

From that same year is 12 Angry Men, a choral classic, with masterful performances by its twelve protagonists, and which allows us to delve into the concept of "reasonable doubt". While jurors withdraw to reflect on what appears to be a simple and obvious murder case, hypotheses that could change the fate of the accused begin to be discussed.

One that always makes me shudder is Philadelphia, inspired by the real case of New York lawyer Geoffrey Bowes, who in 1986 filed a lawsuit with the New York Division of Human Rights on the grounds that he had been fired from his job at a law firm of Manhattan after AIDS-related lesions appeared on his face. Brilliant performances by Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, however, I cannot say that it’s the most valuable part of the film, since their denunciation of discrimination based on sexual orientation and the social stigma suffered in those years by those living with HIV, wins the honors.

Paul Newman starred in Final Verdict, the story of a lawyer who, after losing everything, finds himself with a chance to make a name for himself again when he takes on a major medical malpractice case.

In The Music Box, Jessica Lange, a prestigious Chicago criminal lawyer, must defend her father accused of being a Nazi criminal.

Julia Roberts won an Oscar for playing Erin Brockovich in the film based on true events that Steven Soderbergh released in 2000. She is a lawyer who won a historic lawsuit against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company for contamination of water from human consumption with hexavalent chromium in a California community.

Of course I will remember Kramer against Kramer, not only because we have seen it more than once on Cuban Television, but because it was multi-awarded in prestigious competitions such as the Oscars and the Golden Globes.

This drama tells us, through a civil process, a family problem to which no one remains indifferent.

And since I always like to close with good spirits, I have left for last Legally Blonde, a comedy that takes place at Harvard Law School, where we are introduced to Elle Woods and her unexpected talent as a lawyer.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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