Starting his new job as an instructor at a New England school for the deaf, James Leeds (William Hurt) meets Sarah Norman (Marlee Matlin), a young deaf woman who works at the school as a member of the custodial staff. A romance slowly develops between the pair in spite of Sarah's withdrawn emotional state due in part to her difficult relationship with her mother (Piper Laurie). Matlin, who is deaf in real life, won the Academy Award for Best Actress for this, her first film role.
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